GOP Assures Members Of Sandy Relief Bill Vote By Jan. 15 - New York News

GOP Assures Members Of Sandy Relief Bill Vote By Jan. 15

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Members of the New York and New Jersey Congressional delegations say they have assurances that there will be a House vote on a Hurricane Sandy relief package by Jan. 15.

Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) says House Speaker John Boehner is scheduling a vote for Friday on $9 billion worth of flood insurance, then another vote by Jan. 15 for the balance of the aid.

Word of the new voting timeline came just after local House members met Wednesday afternoon with Boehner.

The vote comes too late for this session of Congress. New House members will be sworn in Thursday by noon.

The new date comes after the House failed Tuesday night to vote on $60 billion worth of aid already passed by the Senate.

The aid is for 11 states and the District of Columbia that sustained the most damage during the October superstorm.

GOP leadership in the House has endured withering criticism since last night, including from New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie earlier this afternoon.

Rep. Michael Grimm was among those who spoke out on the House floor when the vote was canceled Tuesday night.

Wednesday afternoon, Grimm said, "Small businesses are going under. We have an economic calamity waiting in the wings if we don't rebuild New York and New Jersey. That's what we're focused on doing,. and we just got the commitment of not just our speaker but our leader. And that's what we're focused on is, making sure that we will have the votes and the support come Jan. 15."

As for FEMA estimates that it might have enough funding to last until February or March, King said, "Bottom line is we need the $60 billion. FEMA is only a part of what we need the funding for. The community block development grants are absolutely essential. To rebuild, you have to have that funding, and that's what's going to be included."

He added, "Listen, there's one thing we can put to rest right now. There are no earmarks, there's no pork in there. I've seen that being reported today. ... Everything that was in that bill relates directly to Sandy and is directly related to the superstorm."

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