January 2nd, 2013
02:22 PM ET

'Shame on Congress,' Christie says after House drops Sandy vote

[Update 3:57 p.m.] U.S. House Speaker John Boehner has assured lawmakers that the House will vote on $60 billion in aid related to Superstorm Sandy by January 15, a group of lawmakers from New York and New Jersey told reporters Wednesday afternoon.

[Initial post, 2:22 p.m.] New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie says he doesn't know why House Speaker John Boehner didn't allow a vote on a $60 billion aid package to help Superstorm Sandy victims Tuesday or Wednesday, but he's steamed about it.

"There's only one group to blame for the continued suffering" of Sandy victims, and that's Boehner and the House Republican leadership, Christie told reporters Wednesday afternoon.

“Shame on you. Shame on Congress,” Christie, a Republican, said.

Christie is just one of many New Jersey and New York politicians upset that the House did not consider the aid proposal on the final two full days of the 112th Congress. A new Congress will be sworn in on Thursday. The Senate had passed a bill that would have provided billions of dollars in aid to victims, but the process will begin anew with the new Congress.

Sandy killed at least 113 people in the U.S. and left millions of people without power after running up the East Coast in late October. The storm hit hardest in New York and New Jersey.

Christie said he was given assurances that the House would consider the package after it dealt with the fiscal cliff deal that it passed Tuesday night. But late Tuesday, he said, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor told him that the "authority for the (Sandy) vote was pulled by the speaker."

Christie said he then "called the speaker four times last night, and he didn’t take my calls."

"Every day that we don’t begin to get this aid are days that we can’t get people back in their homes, get businesses reopened. ... It’s absolutely disgraceful,” Christie said.

Getting the fiscal cliff deal passed in the House undoubtedly held up the relief measure, and many conservative House Republicans opposed the size of the Senate bill. Some said there were many unrelated provisions in it for items that were not emergency needs.

House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers, R-Kentucky, told reporters off the House floor late Tuesday that "leadership was all-consumed with the cliff procedure ... and they really have not had the time to devote to this because of that."

Up until Tuesday night, GOP leaders were working toward a plan of splitting up the vote into two measures: one providing $27 billion for immediate needs and another amendment offering $33 billion for longer-term recovery efforts.

Rogers said he was ready to move his scaled-back bill but did not give a timetable for the vote in the next Congress.

"FEMA has plenty of money, there's no immediate needs," he said, referring to the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

U.S. Rep. Peter King, a New York Republican who also is upset that the House didn't vote on the package, told CNN Wednesday that Rogers "doesn't know what he's talking about."

"The FEMA money is not going to rebuild businesses, that's not going to provide food and shelter, and it's not going to reimburse the local governments," he said.

The bill included grant funding for owners of homes and businesses, as well as funding for public improvement projects on the electric grid, hospitals and transit systems to prevent damage from future storms.

King called the House leadership's move a "knife in the back." Boehner did not immediately respond publicly to King's assertions.

Michael Steel, Boehner's spokesman, said the speaker is "committed to getting this bill passed this month."

soundoff (562 Responses)
  1. Ban Assault Weapons

    There is very little more fulfilling than witnessing the GOP fighting the GOP, about the GOP being the GOP.

    There is no honor among thieves.

    January 2, 2013 at 3:14 pm | Report abuse |
  2. poppajohn818

    I as a Democrat think Christie is a giant Nincompoop, for jumping on his own party. The truth is that the Senate Democrats stuck so much crap wasting pork in this bill that it stinks. He should have jumped on it, when the Senate was adding all the pork, or is he a Democrat at heart, since he kissed BO's ass so much. Tell him to keep his fat ass out of this and back/ask his Party to drop the pork & send it back to the Senate. Be consistent chubby butt like a true Conservative. I would not vote for him as dog catcher.

    January 2, 2013 at 3:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bee

      Go it some pizza idiot...

      January 2, 2013 at 3:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jimm

      Maybe he and Cuomo and King actually do care about their constiuents. Pork or no pork, the House didn't even put it up for a vote.

      January 2, 2013 at 3:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • David

      Of course much of the "pork" was added by the Repubs in the senate which allowed the bill to move to the house.

      January 2, 2013 at 3:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • DogHaus

      Disaster relief is not pork. Go back to your pizza and x-box games.

      January 2, 2013 at 3:36 pm | Report abuse |
  3. lsman

    I watched the floor debates late last night and this morning. I saw droves of Republicans and Democrats alike stand up and chastise Boehner and other members of the leadership. This is not reflective of the majority of House Republicans...this is Boehner and Cantor playing politics on an issue that you just don't play politics with, no matter what your party is.

    January 2, 2013 at 3:16 pm | Report abuse |
  4. commoncents

    Need to think before we comment. If 60 billion is the loss (including vacaction homes, residences in high risk locations etc.,), the loss is either individually incurred or spread to tax payers (approx $200 per idividual or $600 per taxpayer). The federal government has a poor record to allocationing and distributing funds to where it needed which no one disputes. So answer for yourself what is the best course of action. There is "no free lunch", the $ come from you. If you want to help, send your personal $ in support to a local agency and don't allow for wasting Federal funds which our our dollars (make no mistake).

    January 2, 2013 at 3:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jimm

      Get real. These are not vacation homes or mansions that we are talking about. These are homes of working class people.

      January 2, 2013 at 3:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • DogHaus

      penny wise - pound foolish.

      January 2, 2013 at 3:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dreamer96

      Hmm the Red States get more Federal Money then they pay in Federal Taxes....The Blue Stated pay more in Federal Taxes, then they receive in Federal money....Two weeks after Hurricane Katrina the Congress approve a funding bill.....

      January 2, 2013 at 3:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • tony

      until its your home or business..then u will be the first one in line getting free stuff

      January 2, 2013 at 3:25 pm | Report abuse |
  5. larkwoodgirl

    This is the Republican party leadership once again revealing its seedy underbelly of contempt for the American people. I frankly and disgusted by it.

    January 2, 2013 at 3:16 pm | Report abuse |
  6. bencoates57

    The House votes the way we want them to to avoid the fiscal cliff and we still find something to nail them on. Looks like they were set up to fail. Shame on that fat pig of a governor and every other ungrateful [REDACTED]

    January 2, 2013 at 3:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • RB

      You really are a total Jerk.

      January 2, 2013 at 3:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • DogHaus

      They don't need "setting up". They are proving themselves quite adept at failure.

      January 2, 2013 at 3:25 pm | Report abuse |
  7. bill

    It's hilarious how Christie sounds soooo surprised that the GOP would do something to screw Americans who were impacted by Hurricane Sandy.

    January 2, 2013 at 3:17 pm | Report abuse |
  8. LeighVA

    Michael

    To extreme right fanatics like yourself, even Ronald Reagan would be a RINO if he were to run today.

    ++++

    Actually, Reagan was fine. And I'm not a right wing fanatic. You need a reality check ~ badly. And anyone to a little right of center is no doubt a right wing fanatic. I just call them as I see them. But thanks for playing, sport.

    January 2, 2013 at 3:18 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Scrod

    Welcome to the Democratic Party, Chris. Wait six months and all your friends will be here too. The GOP has really stepped on their nuts this time. Boehner is the symbol of everything wrong with this country, hanging poor people out to dry while the good people in both parties are trying to save them. Oh well, this will save lots of money for our country, and I don't know anyone who lives in NJ anyway.

    January 2, 2013 at 3:18 pm | Report abuse |
  10. bencoates57

    This is the first we're hearing about Sandy aid. Maybe the Congress didn't know about it either. Afterall, if you hypocrites will all remember ... there was something called the fiscal cliff to deal with.

    January 2, 2013 at 3:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jimm

      So they can't hold 2 votes? The Senate passed both.

      January 2, 2013 at 3:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • scott

      Yeah...us hypocrits!!!!!!!!!!you a funny man

      January 2, 2013 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
  11. drinker75

    But isn't aid for Sandy victims like welfare? Shouldn't they have had insurance? Why is it ok to give to some people and not others?

    January 2, 2013 at 3:18 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Cindy

    Christie as the Dem candidate for pres. He would win!! Hope he is reading this!

    January 2, 2013 at 3:19 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Beantownace

    The reality is these disasters provide an opportunity for states to get as 'much' as possible to build more crap infrastructure and overrun government construction jobs. That is the reality. The argument well Katrina got 60 billion, well I think that bill was also probably full of added pork.

    January 2, 2013 at 3:19 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Dreamer96

    The GOP Tea Party members did not want to vote on more debt...after 9 weeks of delays..Shameful is being kind...We cancel governmental contracts all the time, if the contractor does not deliver the goods..does a bad job, or is incompetent.

    Why can we, the people not cancel the paychecks for this Congress members that do not deliver real solutions..They have failed to deliver on their contracts with the American voters that put them into office....and should not be paid...

    By the Way....Most of America's national deficit is owned by the American people...The GOP would like you to think China is holding the most...that is false...China held more of our Debt last July then today....The Two largest holders are the American Social Security Fund, and the US Federal Reserve..Then the millions of Americans with 401k's, Retirement Accounts, American investors...even the super rich CEO's take part of their multi-million dollar salaries in US bonds , just to off set their taxes to the future...Americans are investing in America's future......because they believe in America's future...The current GOP Tea Party do not seem to believe in America anymore, and have tried over and over again to crash our economy...Remember who chanted for the American Default..The Tea Party....If you are not helping, please get out of the way, so we can fix the problems we have...

    January 2, 2013 at 3:19 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Jess Sayin

    I guess this is yet another piece of the GOP's self-destruct plan. The posters who echo the dumbest fools of the Republican party are not helping their cause. They are confirming that the Republicans are a bunch of selfish, greedy, heartless, short-sided idiots who are undeserving of any elected office. Ever. Keep on posting your way to irrelevance.

    January 2, 2013 at 3:19 pm | Report abuse |
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