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Bipartisan Outrage As Vote On Superstorm Sandy Aid Is Postponed

Democratic and Republican members of Congress found something to agree about late Tuesday when they were told the House would not be voting this week on legislation to send tens of billions of dollars in aid to New York, New Jersey and other states slammed by October's Superstorm Sandy.

"I am stunned, stunned," Rep. Rob Andrews, D-N.J., told Politico. "I assume there is as tactical consideration here, that the Republican leadership didn't want to be anywhere near a big spending bill after the fiasco of their handling the tax debate. I understand the tactics but there is a real human need here that is being ignored."

"I stand here almost in disbelief and somewhat ashamed," Rep. Michael Grimm, a Republican from Staten Island, said last night on the House floor, The Wall Street Journal writes. For the first time, he added, he was "not proud of the decision that my team has made."

Rep. Nita Lowey, D-N.Y., said she felt "betrayed."

According to The Associated Press:

"Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., said late Tuesday he was told by the office of Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia that Speaker John Boehner of Ohio had decided to abandon a vote this session [before the House adjourns on Thursday]. ... A spokesman for Boehner, Michael Steel, said, 'The speaker is committed to getting this bill passed this month.'

"The Senate approved a $60.4 billion measure Friday to help with recovery from the October storm that devastated parts of New York, New Jersey and nearby states. The House Appropriations Committee has drafted a smaller, $27 billion measure, and a vote had been expected before Congress' term ends Thursday at noon."

Copyright 2013 National Public Radio. To see more, visit www.npr.org.

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