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House Republicans abruptly pulled the plug Tuesday night on their promise to take up this week an emergency supplemental disaster aid bill for Northeast states damaged by Hurricane Sandy.

The decision is a stunning reversal since just hours before New Jersey lawmakers were preparing for floor debate Wednesday as outlined under a strategy promoted by no less than Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.).


Absent a change of heart, the upshot now is that the Senate bill will die with this Congress on Thursday at noon. And the whole affair is sure to bring back memories of the famous Daily News headline in 1975—“Ford to City: Drop Dead.”

Rep. Peter King, via Dan Merica's (CNN) Twitter:
Rep. Peter King tells CNN that Sandy no vote is "indefensible" for Congress. "It is disgraceful. It even makes it worse being a Republican."
King went on to say that Speaker Boehner is "entirely" to blame for not brining Sandy bill to the floor. Says Cantor was pushing for it.
Rep. Nancy Pelosi, via Twitter:
Heading to House floor to discuss GOP leadership's refusal to bring up #Sandy relief vote.
Let’s remember our social compact that government will be there when people are in need. House GOP leaders should allow #Sandy relief vote.
Rep. Steny Hoyer, via YouTube:
It was my belief and assurance was given to me -- not 100%, and the gentleman who gave it to me did not make this decision -- but I'm deeply disappointed, Mr. Speaker, and the people who have been damaged by Sandy, including Governor Christie, a Republican, and Governor Cuomo, a Democrat, should be deeply disappointed and yes angry that this Congress would adjourn without addressing the pain of our fellow citizens.
Rep. Rosa DeLauro (CT-3), via Twitter:
Sudden GOP decision to block #Sandy relief is unprecedented affront to victims in need. Simply shameful.
Representatives Engel, Grimm, Lowey, and Meeks via Washington Post:
“This is an absolute disgrace and the speaker should hang his head in shame,” said Rep. Eliot Engel, D-N.Y.
“I’m here tonight saying to myself for the first time that I’m not proud of the decision my team has made,” said Rep. Michael Grimm, R-N.Y. “It is the wrong decision, and I’ m going to be respectful and ask that the speaker reconsider his decision. Because it’s not about politics, it’s about human lives.”
“I truly feel betrayed this evening,” said Rep. Nita Lowey, D-N.Y.
“We need to be there for all those in need now after Hurricane Sandy,” said Rep. Gregory Meeks, D-N.Y.
Representatives Holt and Andrews, via USA Today:
Democratic Rep. Rush Holt of New Jersey said he wishes he could speak eloquently on the issue, "but I'm afraid my anger is going to get the better of me."

"Why would we not help each other as this House has always done?" he said.

Democratic Rep. Rob Andrews of New Jersey said House leaders have failed the people of New Jersey.

"Our people are in great need of assistance," he said. "Every time we have been called upon to help other areas of the country, we have responded. It is outrageous that our needs are being pushed aside tonight."

More from Rep. Andrews, via Politico:
“I am stunned, stunned,” Rep. Rob Andrews (D-N.J.) told POLITICO. “I assume there is as tactical consideration here, that the Republican leadership didn’t want to be anywhere near a big spending bill after the fiasco of their handling the tax debate. I understand the tactics but there is a real human need here that is being ignored.”
Tactical consideration? Who might be assuaged by junking Sandy relief? From Reuters:
Many Republicans in Congress say that the Sandy aid bill contains billions of dollars in spending on projects unrelated to damage caused by the storm or for long-term infrastructure improvements that should compete with other discretionary spending.
Sen. Schumer, via Chad Pergram's (Fox News) Twitter:
Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY): It is truly heartless that the House will not even allow the #Sandy bill to come to the floor for a vote.
Rep. Nadler, via via Chad Pergram's (Fox News) Twitter:
Rep. Jerold Nadler (D-NY) on no #Sandy bill; The contemptuous manner in which [Boehner] pulled the bill is unbelievable.

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