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NBC: House GOP 'Ignored' Sandy Suffering; 'Another Body Blow' to Storm Victims

In a pair of back-to-back stories leading off Wednesday's NBC Nightly News, House Republicans were painted as villains for briefly delaying a vote on Hurricane Sandy relief. First, Capitol Hill correspondent Kelly O'Donnell declared: "Stunned Democrats and Republicans could not believe that their hometown suffering could be ignored."

In the next report, correspondent Anne Thompson decried the move: "Where the reminders of Sandy are still all too vivid, today frustration turned to fury....the House of Representatives' failure to vote is just one more body blow."

O'Donnell treated the legislative scheduling change as new disaster: "Boos and jeers erupted when help for Hurricane Sandy victims was abruptly put on hold....Two months after heart-wrenching devastation plowed across the northeast, thousands of homes and businesses wiped out."

She hyped criticism: "Even [House Speaker John] Boehner's allies, like New York Republican Peter King, revolted....The outrage reverberated. From his Hawaii vacation, the President phoned the governors of New York and New Jersey....Chris Christie said Congress betrayed them."

Even after O'Donnell explained that the vote had been scheduled for Friday, Thompson still followed with a story blaming Congress for the suffering of storm victims: "The pace of congressional aid is glacial compared to other disasters. When Katrina tore through the Gulf Coast in 2005, Congress responded with more than $61 billion of aid in just ten days. Hurricane Ike took 12 days. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie says Sandy's victims can't wait any longer."

Thompson further lamented: "On the outside, things are getting better, there is progress. But it's inside where you realize how many people are so very close to the breaking point. And that's where Stephanie Zuckerman is."

Sound bites of Zuckerman, a Long Beach, New York resident whose home was damaged by Sandy, were featured in the report: "No matter how together you try to keep it, it's an emotional thing. And then to know that you're not backed by, you know, the country that you live in....I guess there's no help, and nobody cares. It's very traumatizing."

Thompson wrapped up her segment by somberly observing: "Their stake in this world is damaged, and so is their faith in their government."

President Obama got no blame for the slow recovery after Sandy.

Here is a full transcript of Thompson's January 2 report:

7:04PM ET

KATE SNOW: Many of the people who live and work in areas devastated by Sandy are frustrated and furious tonight that they have to wait even one moment longer to get the help they desperately need. NBC's Anne Thompson reports from New York's hard-hit Long Beach.

ANNE THOMPSON: Where the reminders of Sandy are still all too vivid, today frustration turned to fury.

STEPHANIE ZUCKERMAN: We need funds, and we need help.

THOMPSON: Stephanie and Elliot Zuckerman are fed up. They learned today their once meticulous home in Long Beach, New York is crawling with mold left by Sandy. This is mold?

ELLIOT ZUCKERMAN: That's mold.

THOMPSON: Facing a $75,000 expense and what they say is the run-around from FEMA and insurers, the House of Representatives' failure to vote is just one more body blow.

STEPHANIE ZUCKERMAN: No matter how together you try to keep it, it's an emotional thing. And then to know that you're not backed by, you know, the country that you live in.

THOMPSON: The pace of congressional aid is glacial compared to other disasters. When Katrina tore through the Gulf Coast in 2005, Congress responded with more than $61 billion of aid in just ten days. Hurricane Ike took 12 days. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie says Sandy's victims can't wait any longer.

CHRIS CHRISTIE: Talk to the people down in Union Beach. Talk to the folks in Toms River. Talk to the people in Lavallette. Ask them if another two weeks matters to them in their lives.

THOMPSON: Anger that crossed state lines.

AARON ROSENWEIG [ROCKAWAYS, NY RESIDENT]: It's a shame and it's a tragedy, because they're putting politics before people.

THOMPSON: On the outside, things are getting better, there is progress. But it's inside where you realize how many people are so very close to the breaking point. And that's where Stephanie Zuckerman is.

ZUCKERMAN: I guess there's no help, and nobody cares. It's very traumatizing.

THOMPSON: Their stake in this world is damaged, and so is their faith in their government. Anne Thompson, NBC News, Long Beach, New York.