Boehner Caves on Sandy Aid Vote

by InvestorPlace Staff | January 3, 2013 8:15 pm

[1]Just one day after House Speaker John Boehner, R-Oh., pulled legislation[2] that would have given $60.4 billion in relief aid to victims of Superstorm Sandy, the newly re-elected Speaker has changed his mind.

Perhaps worried that his position was at stake, Boehner met with Republicans yesterday in his office[3] and promised two votes on legislation that would provide aid to victims of the October storm. Boehner was re-elected as Speaker today[4], although his margin of victory (220-192), was the smallest since 1997.

In a statement released with House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., Boehner announced there would be a vote tomorrow to direct resources to the National Flood Insurance Program, and a vote on Jan. 15 for additional aid to Sandy victims.

After pulling the legislation on Tuesday, Boehner caught heat from both parties. New York Rep. Peter King blasted Boehner[5] and other GOP House members, and told New York and New Jersey residents they shouldn’t donate to House Republicans. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie called Boehner’s move “disgusting[6]” in a memorable rant[7].

King did meet with Boehner later, somewhat mollified by the Speaker’s promised votes. King said that Boehner told him the vote was not held because he did not feel the time was right[8] to vote on Sandy aid before the 112th Congress adjourned and the 113th Congress was sworn in.

Still, between criticism over Sandy aid, and his ineffectual efforts on the fiscal cliff crisis[9], Boehner’s power in the House may have been substantially weakened.

— Benjamin Nanamaker, InvestorPolitics Editor

The opinions contained in this column are solely those of the writer.

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