UPDATE: Speaker John Boehner has told members of the New York congressional delegation that the House will vote on the Sandy aid package by Jan. 15.
From the Associated Press:
WASHINGTON (AP) — A New York lawmaker says House Speaker John Boehner has promised votes to aid victims of Superstorm Sandy by Jan. 15.
Republican Rep. Peter King says the speaker will schedule a vote Friday for $9 billion in flood insurance and another on Jan. 15 for a remaining $51 billion in the package. The votes will be taken by the new Congress that will be sworn in Thursday.
Boehner's decision to cancel an expected vote Tuesday night had outraged lawmakers from New York, New Jersey and elsewhere, including many in his own party.
King said Boehner made the promise in a private meeting with lawmakers from affected states. King and others said they were now satisfied that the aid will be forthcoming.
In a strong speech Wednesday, U.S. Peter King, R-Seaford, criticized House Speaker John Boehner for not bringing the Hurricane Sandy aid package to the floor for a vote.
The news first broke Tuesday night after the House voted on the fiscal cliff agreement. Boehner decided to wait until the 113th Congress convenes to take up the aid package.
Several Democrats and Republicans slammed the GOP leadership for not voting on the measure. King was part of that group.
"Last night, many of us came to the floor and rightly said that the conduct of the Republican leadership was disgraceful, it was indefensible and it was immoral," he said.
King directed his disappointment at Boehner first. While he called the Speaker a "personal friend," he questioned the "dismissive attitude" shown to New York and other states affected by Sandy.
"We have a moral obligation as Republicans, as Democrats, as Americans. I spoke to Governor (Chris) Christie. I spoke to Governor (Andrew) Cuomo. We have been in constant contact with (New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg). We cannot believe this cruel knife in the back that was delivered to our region," he said.
Watch video of King's floor speech here.