U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill) represented the 11th district for two years. He was elected to the 16th Congressional district in 2012 which stretches from the Wisconsin border to Livingston County and east to the Indiana border. (WJBC file photo)
By Stephanie Pawlowski
BLOOMINGTON - House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) has reversed course after canceling a vote on Superstorm Sandy aid earlier this week.
The house votes Friday on $9 billion in aid and the rest of the $60 billion package on Jan. 15. U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill) said he doesn't know why the vote was called off except maybe the it was too late at night.
"FEMA has actually come out to say they have enough money for the next month or two. They are going to get the package from the House," Kinzinger said. "I think it was (New Jersey Gov.) Chris Christie. Look, I love the guy. I love that he comes out and speaks his mind. I think it was a little of Chris Christie being Chris Christie. But, this is going to get taken care of."
Because the vote comes in the new Congress, the Senate will also have to take another vote.
After getting past the fiscal cliff, Congressional leaders and the White House are looking at the next battles including raising the federal borrowing limit and cutting entitlement programs. Kinzinger said the big spending issue is in Medicare. He said the House has a plan that would allow private competition into Medicare.
Kinzinger said he also thinks Speaker Boehner will be reelected as the speaker, even though some members of the Republican Party aren't happy with his decisions.
"Nobody is happy with any package that comes out of a divided government. So, John Boehner is doing what a speaker should, which is trying to lead his country in the absence of a president who leads," Kinzinger said. "I mean, think about it. When was the last time the president has given a good speech that wasn't blaming someone for something, somewhere.
The new Congress still faces the ideological disputes that plagued the dysfunctional 112th Congress, one of the least productive in more than 60 years. Tea partyers within the Republican ranks are insisting on fiscal discipline, while Democrats envision a government with enough resources to help the less fortunate.