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Obama, NY And NJ Lawmakers Press For Sandy Aid

According to King, Boehner explained that after the contentious vote to avoid major tax increases and spending cuts called the "fiscal cliff," Boehner didn't think it was the right time to schedule the vote before the current Congress went out of business.

"What's done is done. The end result will be New York, New Jersey and Connecticut will receive the funding they deserve. We made our position clear last night. That's in the past," King said.

Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J., added, "We do believe we have an iron clad commitment."

The Senate approved a $60.4 billion measure Friday to help with recovery from the October storm that devastated parts of New York, New Jersey and nearby states. The House Appropriations Committee has drafted a smaller, $27 billion measure for immediate recovery needs and a second amendment for $33 billion to meet longer-term needs.

The $9 billion in flood insurance money to be voted on Friday was originally in the $27 billion measure. The votes on Jan. 15 will be for $18 billion in immediate assistance and $33 billion for longer-term projects, including projects to protect against future storms, King said.

Much of the money in the proposals is for immediate help for victims and other recovery and rebuilding efforts. The aid is intended to help states rebuild public infrastructure such as roads and tunnels and help thousands of people displaced from their homes.

Some $5.4 billion is for the Federal Emergency Management Agency's disaster relief fund, $5.4 billion is to help transit agencies in New York and New Jersey rebuild and another $3.9 billion is for the Housing and Urban Development Department's development fund to repair hospitals, utilities and small businesses.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a Republican, was among those sharply criticizing Boehner before the speaker changed course.

Christie said he was frustrated after Boehner withdrew the bill Tuesday night and tried to call him four times that night, but none of the calls were returned. Christie complained about the "toxic internal politics" of the House majority. Christie said he had worked hard to persuade House members to support Sandy aid, and was given assurances by GOP leaders that the bill would be voted on before Thursday.

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