House adjourns with no Sandy vote

According to members of both parties, Boehner pulled consideration of the bill late Tuesday even though a bill was prepared, and Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) was pushing for a vote.

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Republicans indicated they want to push a Sandy bill through the House in January. But that wasn't good enough for many members from New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, who argued that Boehner was leaving millions of people without any immediate aid from the storm that is likely to cost billions of dollars in cleanup costs.

House adjournment also means a Senate-passed bill, which would provide $60 billion for Sandy-related relief, will die in the 113th Congress. House Republicans said the Senate bill was too costly, and had prepared a $27 billion bill as a replacement.

Technically, there is some small chance the House could act on a Sandy bill Thursday just before the new Congress is sworn in, or possibly if the House were to return today. But that seemed highly unlikely as of midday on Wednesday.

The House returns at 11 a.m. Thursday, and the new Congress takes control at noon.

While members of the House protested when the House adjourned around midnight last night, there was no protest about the motion to adjourn Wednesday afternoon.

Just before leaving, the House approved two bills by unanimous consent:

H.R. 6586, extending a limitation on liability against commercial space launch companies, and

S. 3250, the Sexual Assault Forensic Evidence Registry (SAFER) Act, which would authorize grants to states that conduct audits of samples of sexual assault evidence that are awaiting testing.

— This story was updated at 1:15 p.m.