ALBANY, N.Y. - New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo says he's disappointed that Congress failed to vote as expected on an aid package for damage from Superstorm Sandy, but he expects a vote soon.
Announced Wednesday afternoon, House Speaker John Boehner has promised votes to aid victims of Superstorm Sandy by Jan. 15. The speaker will schedule a vote Friday for $9 billion in flood insurance and another on Jan. 15 for a remaining $51 billion in the package. The votes will be taken by the new Congress that will be sworn in Thursday.
Boehner's decision to cancel an expected vote Tuesday night had outraged lawmakers from New York, New Jersey and elsewhere, including many in his own party.
Cuomo says Wednesday, hours after the House of Representatives failed to act on the package, that the House inaction is "inexcusable."
The U.S. Senate approved a $60.4 billion measure Friday. The Republican-controlled House Appropriations Committee has drafted $27 billion measure for recovery from the late October storm that damaged or destroyed 305,000 housing units and more than 265,000 businesses in New York.
Cuomo and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie released a statement on the failure to pass Sandy aid Wednesday saying:
"With all that New York and New Jersey and our millions of residents and small businesses have suffered and endured, this continued inaction and indifference by the House of Representatives is inexcusable. It has now been 66 days since Hurricane Sandy hit and 27 days since President Obama put forth a responsible aid proposal that passed with a bi-partisan vote in the Senate while the House has failed to even bring it to the floor. This failure to come to the aid of Americans following a severe and devastating natural disaster is unprecedented. The fact that days continue to go by while people suffer, families are out of their homes, and men and women remain jobless and struggling during these harsh winter months is a dereliction of duty. When American citizens are in need we come to their aid. That tradition was abandoned in the House last night.
"The people of our states can no long afford to wait while politicians in Washington play games."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.