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House Speaker Offered No Sandy Relief Money; But He Still Got N.J. GOP Votes

John Boehner yelled at Frank LoBiondo about his Sandy relief plea, but the South Jersey rep and others still voted for their fellow Republican congressman

House Speaker John Boehner lost some love from his fellow Republican congressmen in New Jersey this week after delaying a $60 billion Sandy relief aid package. But he didn't lose their loyalty.

New Jersey's Republican congressmen unanimously voted to re-elect the speaker to his post Thursday. All Democrats voted for former House speaker Nancy Pelosi.

"There were only two choices - John Boehner and Nancy Pelosi - and the congressman was not going to vote for Nancy Pelosi," said Jason Galanes, a spokesman for Frank LoBiondo, a Republican who represents much of South Jersey.

LoBiondo and Boehner had a widely reported heated exchange when the speaker informed the New York and New Jersey congressmen and women that the aid package had been shelved.

Galanes, however, said LoBiondo and Boehner got past their differences when the speaker promised to have a vote on the entire package - divided into two parts - within two weeks.

When asked if he considered not voting, or voting for somebody other than Boehner or Pelosi - as 21 members did - Galanes said: "Congressman LoBiondo was sent to Washington to vote. He doesn't believe in not voting."

Here is how the voting went down, by congressional district:

Boehner:

  • 2nd — Rep. Frank LoBiondo, R, Atlantic, Cape May
  • 3rd — Rep. Jon Runyan, R, Ocean, Burlington
  • 4th — Rep. Chris Smith, R, Monmouth, Mercer
  • 5th — Rep. Scott Garrett, R, Sussex
  • 7th — Rep. Leonard Lance, R, Hunterdon
  • 11th — Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen, R, Morris

Pelosi:

  • 1st — Rob Andrews, D, Camden
  • 6th — Rep. Frank Pallone Jr., D, Middlesex, Monmouth
  • 8th — Rep. Albio Sires, D, Hudson
  • 9th — Rep. Bill Pascrell Jr., D, Passaic
  • 10th — Rep. Donald Payne Jr., D, Essex
  • 12th — Rep. Rush Holt, D, Mercer, Somerset

Boehner drew heat from Governor Christie and local representatives this week after putting off a vote on the aid package.

According to The Huffington Post:

Boehner had a heated exchange with LoBiondo, one of the members urging the House Republican leadership to bring up the Sandy legislation, according to fellow Rep. Peter King, R, N.Y. The House adjourned on Tuesday night without passing the $60.4 billion Sandy relief package that the Senate approved last week.

"I was chasing the Speaker all over the House floor last night, trying to talk to him and his staff," King said on CNN on Wednesday morning. "He kept telling me, wait until the vote is over, wait until the fiscal cliff vote is over, everything will be taken care of. And then he was gone. He refused to meet with us. He actually yelled at Congressman LoBiondo, saying, 'I'm not meeting with you people.'"

According to The Huffington Post, Galanes confirmed that King's account was "accurate."

In an interview with Politicker NJ, LoBiondo said he had received assurances from House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R, Va. that the Sandy bill would come up for a vote as soon as the fiscal cliff deal was voted on.

In a release, Democratic Sen. Frank Lautenberg said the move denies aid to "families, communities and businesses that were devastated by one of the worst storms to ever hit the United States.

“Denying emergency aid to Superstorm Sandy victims is a new low for House Republicans,” Lautenberg said.

Smith, a Republican who represents Mercer, Monmouth and Ocean County communities, told congressional members earlier this week that they "must get us to the $60 billion that is desperately needed to assist families, businesses and municipalities devastated by Superstorm Sandy."

"Numerous towns in my district in New Jersey, as well as our friends in New York and further north, are still coping with and recovering from the most destructive storm ever in our region - and perhaps the second or third most costly in American history," he said.

He also said Congress "assisted those pummeled by Hurricane Katrina in 2005 with $62 billion in a mere two weeks... we are now past two months and still no Sandy relief bill."

"I respectfully appeal to my colleagues to come together and support this emergency legislation to help the victims of Superstorm Sandy," he said.

KingNeptune January 04, 2013 at 07:08 PM
Guess that's how the trio of idiots; Obama, Lautenberg and Menendez keep getting reelected.
Paul E Taylor Jr January 04, 2013 at 07:15 PM
Another left wing spin on things, the bill was loaded with pork, money to Alaska, and every other stupid place and pet projects. No wonder why this country is going downhill. The liberal loons are feeding at the pig pen.
Lori Morrison January 04, 2013 at 08:15 PM
Today's vote demonstrates once again that the golden rule is "party before the people" They could have abstained from the vote, but that would be political suicide in Washington. Here's an idea- instead of taking their "entitlement" salaries, donate it to the areas affected. If every elected official had the balls to do this it would prove that they truly care about the people.
jerseyswamps January 04, 2013 at 08:30 PM
Harry Reid and the rest of the Senate Dems counting out the billions to Sandy victims: "That's one for you and one for me." "That's 2 for you and that's 1, 2 for me." "That's 3 for you and that's 1, 2, 3 for me." "That's ...
Bill Borden January 04, 2013 at 08:31 PM
Why shouldn't a NJ Republican try to grab a leadership spot in the House? The threat of Boehner losing to Pelosi could have forced him to at least put the funding bill to a vote. If there was all this talk about "pork" in the original Sandy bill, why didn't the House put a vote to their own "porkless" version? NJ's legislators only showed their ineffectiveness.
Ken January 04, 2013 at 11:22 PM
I say keep shooting down this bill till every dollar that is going towards pork projects are removed
Frank Worrell January 05, 2013 at 12:37 AM
Ok ken all the pork has been removed. Why did 67congressman vote against our neighbors who need their ins. Checks so they can rebuild.Why can we give money for disaster relief toJapan ,Hatiti ect. And not take care of our our own citizens.ONCE AGAIN All THe PORK WAS REMOVED
Ken January 05, 2013 at 01:28 AM
Frank I did not know that you knew for a fact that all the pork was removed, You must know more than everyone else. It is great to have such an important and intelligent person making comments here on this site and to respond to my comment personally.
ed crowley January 05, 2013 at 01:32 AM
What makes you think that I voted.
ed crowley January 05, 2013 at 01:39 AM
Ken, Frank was correct this bill was only for the flood insurance program. The bill to be voted on in the future is loaded with pork. I don't know if the democrats will be opposed to removing the pork.
KC January 05, 2013 at 01:42 AM
Yes, and I don't know if this is true, but I heard the reason Boehner (and I am NOT a Republican) voted against the bill was that it contained too much PORK. a roof for the Smithsonian ( and I ADORE The Smithsonian, but not to do w/ Sandy) and other initiatives that did not best serve the victims of Sandy. As an independent I am going to give the benefit of the doubt on this issue. If anyone else knows more on that topic I invite commentary. Please do illuminate.
Ken January 05, 2013 at 02:09 AM
The $60B is loaded with pork. The one for $9B was for the flood insurance. Since this article started off talking about the $60B, which is loaded with pork so I believe both you and Frank are incorrect!
oldsoldier January 05, 2013 at 02:11 AM
While certainly sitting on their hands could have been an option, do you think if they and other Representatives did the same that it would have thrown the job to Pelosi? I do not know if you would have preferred that or not. But consider this comparison: We the people at large continue to vote for the same elected officials we complain about. Therefore, why should not our Representives be any different?
Sal January 05, 2013 at 04:54 AM
Republican Congressman Boehner quickly gave approval for the $87 Billion that President Bush requested to rebuild Iraq in just 2 weeks after Bush asked for the money he got Boehner's approval.. Congressman Boehner even more quickly approved Bush's request for $130 Billion of aid after Hurricane Katrina in just 1 week. Maryland, Delaware, NJ, NY and CT are waiting over 2 months now for Boehner's approval. Boehner gave Iraq more money and approved it in under 2 weeks. Boehner cares more about his Muslim pals in Iraq who he voted to give MORE money to very fast. $87 Billion for Iraq and it is smaller in size than NYS alone and Iraq only has 23 million people living there.
Bill Storm, January 05, 2013 at 12:35 PM
There is a rumor going around that the White House told Boehner to hold off on a vote for Sandy due to comments from some congressmen about a challenge to the amount to some areas. Do not interfer with the Presidents vacation, it can wait another 2 weeks.
Steven A Smith January 05, 2013 at 01:16 PM
How about you republicon repukes get you guns out put them to your heads and pull a massive jim Jones ? funny how you republicon rubes dont have a problem with Bush s unfunded wars dressed in your camo boxers and tea party costumes you could always move to a third world country like texas
Steven A Smith January 05, 2013 at 01:18 PM
Rep. Jon Runyan, R, Ocean, Burlington is this guy still alive? perhaps a search party on his "farm subsidy" would be in order
Steven A Smith January 05, 2013 at 01:19 PM
Google how many vacation Bush took and John "Boner" didnt bring it up for a vote might wanna check out what he did for the southern folks in Katrina
TomsBoy January 05, 2013 at 04:34 PM
The real problem is the Dem controlled Senate. Who saw a chance to bring home the bacon. They loaded it up with pork and with Rep help passed Sandy relief bill. NJ GovC should have told the Senators if they needed pork to pass the bill, could it be a 50/50 split. 1/2 pork 1/2 relief. I like that Gov C calls as he sees it, but in this case put the blame where it belongs. The Senate.
Jim January 05, 2013 at 05:22 PM
The R's votes speak volumes about why change is so difficult in our political structure. Do you think for a minute that rep LoBiondo would keep Boehner if he was an employee of his family's business? Never! I have investigated the "pork" many people are talking about. Is it really pork? Do you know what real pork barrel politics is? Take a road trip down south or through the midwest and west to see the result of mindless pork barrel legislation at its best. Here in NJ at the height of the war in Iraq, Guard and Reserve soldiers were forced to endure conditions at deployment platforms resembling places like eastern state pen. Not so at the southern posts and bases...nor should it have been. Sort out the pork after our brothers and sisters effected by this terrible storm have some semblance of dignity restored to them. Jim Arthur
NavyE9r January 06, 2013 at 03:52 PM
Is this really a surprise in politics? The GOP has been trying to get the Stolen Valor act made a law for some time, yet they supported Stolen Valor Stafford Mayor John Spodofora. This charlatan flat out lied using Congressman Runyan's name stating he had to get "special access" as it was written in the Asbury Park Press. What did Runyan do despite calls and written concerns? Nothing... it was election time and both are Republicans.
NavyE9r January 06, 2013 at 03:59 PM
Thanks Jim for recognizing and point out the hardships that our Armed Forces have to endure. If that isn't bad enough, you local politicians who will steal what they earned for a vote, pat on the back or plaque on the wall.
NavyE9r January 06, 2013 at 04:06 PM
Caught and exposed nationally for being a Navy SEAL Imposter, embellishing combat and service in Vietnam and boasting a fabricated Vietnam War Medal of Valor, Stafford Mayor John Spodofora was now has another accomplishment to add to his name with his being inducted into the 2012 Military Times Hall of Stolen Valor: http://militarytimes.com/projects/hallofstolenvalor/
Spooner January 06, 2013 at 04:44 PM
...like the pork down there at all those military installations. A form of corporate welfare...taxes providing jobs in their districts. Let's here from DeMint or his replacement and the other SC Senator...Lindsey Graham, and the other Alabama,& Texas Senators talk about cutting their military welfare. Or how about another blowhard, CA Congressman Daryl Issa...plenty of pork out in California. So when you hear these folks get up before the cameras and talk about reforming so called mistakenly named "entitlement" programs, just remind them of all the pork in their states that need to be cut...
Colonel January 06, 2013 at 06:15 PM
Boehner was in a thankless position with that bill and he absolutely wound up doing the right thing----defeating it until all the crap projects tacked onto the bill that had nothing to do with the hurricane be stripped out before the vote. The pressure by jerk, Christie, and the other opportunist politicians from the Northeast to pass it without taking any action on the earmarks shows what kind of ethics these people operate under. Now that it's been defeated, let's handle it in a rational manner and only include dollars specifically designated for victims of the storm who happened to have flood insurance, to the municipalities to rebuild their infrastructures and boardwalks and that's it. Nothing for Alaskan fisheries or other "bridges to nowhere." All the criticism should have been directed by all the complainmers against all those who tried to take advantage of their plight by tacking on these $600 million of outrageous earmarks. Put the blame where it belongs. $600 million is not chump change despite the trillions of $ we are burdened with by Pelosi & Co.
DivineMomentsOfTruth January 07, 2013 at 12:05 AM
Funny.. That is exactly how I see the Democrats.. I voted Democrat until I saw how ridiculous they were when Bush won. It was an embarrassment! Then when 9/11 happened and I saw how they sneered at Giuliana. They cared more about power and party politics than they did about our country. The Democrats truly make me sick. The Republicans are not far behind., They scratch each others backs and live large on our dime while they shove Taxes and Tyranny down our throats. I can't stand Boehner.. but he was right to POSTPONE the bill so as not to pass all that PORK! Saying he didn't want to fund relief for Sandy victims is a straight out LIE! Pray we have a country left after Obama and his Crew are done with it. Liberalism/Socialism/Communism is Not Sustainable!
Sherman January 07, 2013 at 12:24 AM
go to costofwars.com if you want to see Govt waste based on lies
Sherman January 07, 2013 at 12:29 AM
http://www.progress.org/tcs62.htm
Robert Costello January 07, 2013 at 04:28 PM
The Republican Party is antiAmerica. Since 1998, the GOP has aided al Qaeda at every turn. It is the height of hypocrisy for Repugnican law makers to load Sandy Relief with unrelated pork, then use their own riders as an excuse to punish NJ & NY for voting intelligently. There is NO reason for any patriotic, intelligent American to ever vote Republican, ever.
Frank S January 07, 2013 at 05:35 PM
US Government Pork Barrel Spending See full chart Year Administration # Projects Cost 1991 George H Bush 546 $3.1 Billion 1992 George H Bush 892 $2.6 Billon Total projects 1,438 Cost to taxpayers $5.7 Billion 1993 Bill Clinton 1,712 $6.6 Billion 1994 Bill Clinton 1,318 $7.8 Billion 1995 Bill Clinton 1,439 $10 Billion 1996 Bill Clinton 958 $12.5 Billion 1997 Bill Clinton 1,596 $14.5 Billion 1998 Bill Clinton 2,143 $13.2 Billion 1999 Bill Clinton 2,838 $12 Billion 2000 Bill Clinton 4,326 $17.7 Billion Total projects 16,330 Cost to taxpayers $94.3 Billion 2001 George W Bush 6,333 $18.5 Billion 2002 George W Bush 8,341 $20.1 Billion 2003 George W Bush 9,362 $22.5 Billion 2004 George W Bush 10,656 $22.9 Billion 2005 George W Bush 13,997 $27.3 Billion 2006 George W Bush 9,963 $29 Billion 2007 George W Bush 2,658 $13.2 Billion 2008 George W Bush 11,610 $17.2 Billion Total projects 72,920 Cost to taxpayers $170.7 Billion Total All Projects 90,68 Total All Costs $270.7 Billion * George W Bush spent 44.76% more than Bill Clinton- * George W Bush spending does not include costs for the Iraq War

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