Sandy Relief Sidelined In Fiscal Cliff Deal

January 2, 2013 | Andy Cush

The Fiscal Cliff compromise deal–which averted the crisis at hand, but was felt by many in Washington to be a bit of a cop-out–diverted attention away from one of the other most important issues of our day: federal relief for states pummeled by Hurricane Sandy. In the flurry of activity over the fiscal deal, House Speaker John Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor decided to allow the current Congress to end without addressing storm relief. The senate passed a $60 billion dollar package Friday, and Congress was expected to vote on a smaller package before the current term ends tomorrow.

Criticism came from New York politicians on both sides of the aisle. “I’m here tonight saying to myself for the first time that I’m not proud of the decision my team has made,” said Republican (and possibly mob-affiliated) Rep. Michael Grimm. “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.”