Fox and right-wing media figures defended Republican House Speaker John Boehner's decision to cancel a vote on an aid package for victims of Hurricane Sandy. Following sharp bipartisan criticism over that decision, Boehner agreed to a vote this week.
Boehner Canceled Expected Vote On Sandy Aid
CBS News: "Boehner Temporarily Abandoned Work On The Sandy Aid Bill." CBS News reported that the "House was expected to vote last night on a $60.4 billion package that would have provided disaster aid to states hit by Sandy more than two months ago," but Boehner "temporarily abandoned work on the" bill:
The House was expected to vote last night on a $60.4 billion package that would have provided disaster aid to states hit by Sandy more than two months ago. The Senate passed a similar measure last week, and Christie said today he was receiving "assurances" that the bill would "get done" as late as 9 p.m. ET on Tuesday night, Jan. 1. But in the aftermath of recent days' fraught "fiscal cliff" dealmaking, and a resulting package including tax hikes many Republicans opposed, Boehner temporarily abandoned work on the Sandy aid bill, telling New York and New Jersey Republicans he'd prioritize it in the new year. [CBS News, 1/2/13]
Reuters: Boehner "Made A U-Turn" After "Drawing Withering Fire From Fellow Republicans." Reuters reported that Boehner "made a U-turn on Wednesday to clear the way for approval of $60 billion in Superstorm Sandy relief by mid-January after drawing withering fire from fellow Republicans":
House Speaker John Boehner made a U-turn on Wednesday to clear the way for approval of $60 billion in Superstorm Sandy relief by mid-January after drawing withering fire from fellow Republicans, including New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, for canceling an earlier vote.
The Republican-controlled House of Representatives will now vote on Friday on a $9 billion down payment for storm-related aid to the National Flood Insurance program.
Boehner also assured New York and New Jersey lawmakers that the House will take a second vote on January 15 on the $51 billion remainder of the Sandy package. [Reuters, 1/2/13]
Fox, Right-Wing Media Figures Defended Boehner's Initial Decision To Cancel Vote ...
Weekly Standard's Bill Kristol: "I Think The Speaker Was Entirely Right To Pull The Bill." During an appearance on Fox News' Special Report, Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol said, "I think the Speaker was entirely right to pull the bill." He added: "$60 billion is about one-tenth of this year's federal domestic discretionary nondefense spending. This is not like, gee, a couple hundred million dollars for some really important, urgent thing." [Fox News, Special Report with Bret Baier, 1/2/13]
Fox Business' Neil Cavuto: The Sandy Bill "Was Unreasonable, And It Was Stupid." After playing a montage of members of Congress denouncing the decision to cancel the vote, Fox Business host Cavuto said "calm down, shut up, and listen up." He said "these guys should be celebrating -- that's right, celebrating -- the death of a Sandy relief bill that offered little in the way of real relief for those actually hit by Sandy." He said the measure "was shelved for a reason: It was unreasonable, and it was stupid." [Fox Business, Cavuto, 1/2/13]
NRO's Daniel Foster: "Cataclysmic Tone" Is "Unnecessary." At National Review Online's The Corner, Daniel Foster wrote that while adjourning without a vote was "bad optics for the Republicans," "the cataclysmic tone struck by northeastern Republicans like Peter King (who is implying he could leave the party) and Chris Christie (who has called a live-streamed presser at 2PM that will no doubt be fun to watch), strikes me as unnecessary." Foster added that the bill is "about the size and shape of the second wave of Sandy spending, which can and should be much more deliberate than the first wave." [National Review Online, 1/2/13]
Hot Air's Allahpundit: "What's Going To Change On The Ground ... Between Now And The Next Few Days?" Allahpundit wrote at Hot Air: "What's going to change on the ground in New York and New Jersey between now and the next few days, when the bill is safely on Obama's desk for signing? Not a thing, but it's a fine opportunity for grandstanding by blue-state Republicans eager to seize an opportunity to distance themselves from the party's brand while it's at low tide." [Hot Air, 1/2/13]
... Even As Boehner Received Bipartisan Criticism Over That Decision
CBS News: "Democrats, As Well As Republican Lawmakers ... Fiercely Decried The Decision" To Cancel The Vote. CBS News reported that "Democrats, as well as Republican lawmakers like Christie and New York Reps. Peter King and Michael Grimm, fiercely decried the decision." According to CBS News, Rep. Peter King (R-NY) "accused House Republicans of 'writing off' New York and New Jersey." From CBS News:
Democrats, as well as Republican lawmakers like [Republican Governor of New Jersey Chris] Christie and New York Reps. Peter King and Michael Grimm, fiercely decried the decision. King, in a series of television appearances, accused House Republicans of "writing off" New York and New Jersey, and suggested he might vote against Boehner in his bid to hold on to his speakership -- the prospects of which some see as precarious due to the "fiscal cliff" negotiations. King also urged Republicans from New York and New Jersey not to donate to the House GOP. [CBS News, 1/2/13]
GOP Gov. Chris Christie Blamed Boehner For "The Continued Suffering Of These Innocent Victims." CBS News quoted New Jersey's Republican governor, Chris Christie, as blaming Boehner and House Republicans "for the continued suffering of these innocent victims":
Christie, meanwhile, called publicly shamed House Republicans for falling prey to what he cast as "palace intrigue," and specifically targeted Boehner's role in the process.
"There's only one group to blame for the continued suffering of these innocent victims: The House majority and their speaker John Boehner," Christie told reporters. "I called the speaker four times. He did not take my calls." [CBS News, 1/2/13]