NEW YORK CITY — While his fellow elected officials raged against the House of Representatives' failure to bring a $60 billion Superstorm Sandy aid package to a vote before adjourning late Tuesday, Mayor Michael Bloomberg took a much milder tone, saying it wasn't his job to judge House Speaker John Boehner's call.
“It’s not for me to second-guess how you run a legislative body," Bloomberg said Wednesday, the same day when Govs. Andrew Cuomo and Chris Christie slammed the failure to vote as a "dereliction of duty."
"You know, democracy is something that takes a while to come together and to get the results," Bloomberg continued, adding that he had a long chat with Boehner Wednesday morning, in which the speaker assured him a vote would be taken at some point in January.
"As long as it turns out that we get the monies that we think are appropriate for the federal government to send to a part of the country that's had a major natural disaster, all's well that ends well."
The decision to scrap the vote has drawn outrage from other state and city officials, who have taken to the House floor and to the airwaves to slam Boehner for failing to help residents still desperately in need of aid.
"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," Cuomo and Christie said in a joint statement.
"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," they added.
On the House floor Tuesday night and again on Wednesday morning, Republican Rep. Michael Grimm, whose Staten Island district was devastated by the storm, said that he was “almost in disbelief” over the decision.
“I am here tonight saying to myself for the first time that I am not proud of the decision my team has made. It was not the right decision,” he said Tuesday.