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Under pressure, Boehner is said to promise votes on hurricane Sandy relief (+ video)

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Mr. Obama, who left Washington Tuesday evening to join his family vacationing in Hawaii, issued a statement Wednesday saying, “When tragedy strikes, Americans come together to support those in need. I urge Republicans in the House of Representatives to do the same, bring this important request to a vote today, and pass it without delay for our fellow Americans.”

Last week the Senate passed a $60.4 billion disaster assistance measure to help those affected by the late October superstorm, which killed 120 people and damaged or destroyed 651,000 homes in New York and New Jersey. The House had been expected to debate a similar measure on Wednesday before Boehner unexpectedly pulled the bill back Tuesday evening.

Boehner's decision surprised and angered politicians of both parties from the affected states.

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