Hoyer Takes Boehner to Task for Not Calling a Vote on Sandy Relief Package

By Melanie Arter | January 2, 2013 | 11:17 AM EST

Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) (AP Photo)

(CNSNews.com) House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) took to the House floor on Tuesday to complain about House Speaker John Boehner for not allowing a vote on a Hurricane Sandy relief package.

“Mr. Speaker, I have just been informed that we will be having perhaps no further votes in this Congress. I am deeply disappointed at that information," he said.

“We have millions of our fellow citizens who have been badly damaged by a storm called Sandy. Overwhelmingly, the United States Senate passed some relief. I can’t remember a time when we had a very serious storm, tornado, fire, flood where we did not act. This Congress is apparently leaving town without responding to that emergency,” Hoyer said.

Hoyer said any one of his colleagues could be confronted by a natural disaster or a manmade disaster, “and our fellow citizens would expect us to respond, as the United States Senate has responded.”

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a Republican, and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat – “the people who have been damaged by Sandy” should be “deeply disappointed and yes, angry that this Congress would adjourn without addressing the pain of our fellow citizens,” Hoyer added.

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“I deeply regret this. I can’t change this opinion, but it’s not what we ought to be doing. There are Republicans who are deeply grieved by this action, and there are Democrats on this floor deeply grieved by this action. This is not the right thing to do,” he said.

The Senate on Friday approved a $60.4 billion aid package for Hurricane Sandy victims.

House Republicans are reportedly planning to break that up into two bills – one for $27 billion for immediate relief and another for $33 billion for long-term needs and infrastructure improvements.