The majority of any non-Sandy spending appears to have been appropriations to help victims of other (federally declared) disasters, such as Missouri tornadoes and Alaska fisheries depletion.
Basically he just ignored the Hastert Rule (for the second time this year). Whether this is the beginning of a trend remains to be seen.
I have not seen a quote from Boehner about why he allowed this to come to a vote. I would assume it’s because withholding disaster aid just because the disaster was the Northeast is terrible politics.
The Hastert rule seems to be dying a slow death. Despite controlling a majority of the House, it seems like the only way any major legislation passes the House in this Congress (or passes it without being doomed in the Senate anyway’s) is via a large majority of Dems and a rump of 40 or so GOP members led by Boehner.