House gives up on Sandy aid bill

Washington — Lawmakers from superstorm Sandy-hit states erupted in anger Tuesday night after House Speaker John Boehner decided to let Congress adjourn without holding a vote on aid for victims of the superstorm.

Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., called the decision “absolutely indefensible.”

Rep. Eliot Engle, D-N.Y., said Boehner “should hang his head in shame.”

“Many times we have come to the aid of our citizens. Why not now?” asked Rep. Donald Payne Jr., D-N.J.

Last week, the Senate approved a $60.4 billion package to help New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and other storm-affected states recover from Sandy.

The House on Tuesday considered holding two votes, one on a stripped-down disaster relief bill that cost $27 billion and another on a $33 billion amendment to the bill that would bring the package more in line with what the Senate approved.

It’s unclear why the GOP leadership abandoned plans to bring the legislation for a vote in the 112th Congress. Now the next Congress, to be gaveled in on Thursday, will have to start at the beginning of the legislative process.