Beyond Washington, two prominent Northeast governors weighed in on Congress' year-end wrangling, and wasted little time assailing the House GOP leadership over hurricane relief.
Christie said his state had been betrayed by his fellow Republicans in the House, who refused to bring a Superstorm Sandy aid package to a vote, adding, "America deserves better than just another example of a government that has forgotten who they are there to serve and why."
Cuomo, a Democrat long considered by party insiders to be a possible White House candidate, issued a joint statement with Christie condemning the "inaction and indifference" by the House. "The people of our states can no longer afford to wait while politicians in Washington play games," they said. House Republicans said after Christie's blistering news conference that they would hold a vote Friday for $9 billion for the national flood insurance program and another on Jan. 15 for a remaining $51 billion in the relief package.
It's impossible to say whether this week's votes and comments will become 2016 campaign fodder. But they certainly give hints about how possible candidates are testing the waters — and how their positions are faring with certain parts of the electorate.
"It strikes me that Ryan is thinking he wants to be the establishment candidate," said Doug Gross, an Iowa Republican who chaired Mitt Romney's 2008 campaign in the state. Conservatives may agree — and not look kindly on that. As Erick Erickson, a conservative commentator and the editor of RedState.com, put it on Twitter, "Thus ends the Paul Ryan 2016 Presidential Exploratory Committee."
Still, some Republicans dismissed any fallout from their candidates' votes.
"I don't ultimately think this one vote will hurt any of them," said Sara Taylor Fagen, a Republican strategist. "But to some degree it probably forecasts their voting patterns for the future."
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