Sandy Victims to Get Vote on Friday:

A chastened US House Republican leadership scrambled to tamp down

seething bipartisan fury over a failure to approve emergency relief for

victims of superstorm Sandy, saying a vote will now occur Friday.


Senate has already passed a $60.4 billion aid package put forward by

the White House to help northeast US states still reeling in the wake of

the killer late October storm, which destroyed tens of thousands of

homes and businesses and pummeled critical infrastructure.

But, in

the lower House of Representatives, Speaker John Boehner, still

smarting from battle with Democratic President Barack Obama over "fiscal

cliff" budget negotiations, signaled there would be no vote in the

closing days of the outgoing Congress.

Boehner's move sparked rage

and indignation from figures in both parties, prompting the Republican

speaker to announce a two-stage vote on Sandy relief — on Friday and

again on January 15.

"Getting critical aid to the victims of

Hurricane Sandy should be the first priority in the new Congress,"

Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor said in a joint statement.


Obama and New Jersey's outspoken Republican Governor Chris Christie led

the charge against Boehner's refusal to act more quickly.