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. Tonya

    President Obama is on a beach in Hawaii, because that is his home. Just like Texas was Former President Bush's home and California was Former President Reagan's home. Presidents also have cell phones, computers and state of art communications systems to communicate to others. He also has an airplane. They do not work 9-5pm, M-F. Wake up America , Presidents of the United States deserve a break from all the insane people they must work with on a daily basis.. Can't we just get along, and understand that all of us are successful.. we all win win..all most people want to do is have a decent job, send their kids to safe schools, be able to afford a decent lifestyle and may be go on vacation every other year... it is not that difficult.. Come on people.

    January 2, 2013 at 3:38 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Joe

    Kay, lets us admit our GOP is in disarray and fractured,let alone dysfunctionable.

    January 2, 2013 at 3:38 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Norm

    Shame on anyone that still votes for or tries to defend the Grand Obsolete Party..

    January 2, 2013 at 3:38 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Just for the record

    Cristie, come over to the dems side.

    January 2, 2013 at 3:39 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Just for the record

    Cristie, come over to the dems side...

    January 2, 2013 at 3:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Scrod

      Well, he can't go back to the GOP. He has now disagreed with them TWICE. He is a RINO and Grover will hunt him down.

      January 2, 2013 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse |
  6. the mayor of medinah

    Washington is made up of a bunch of immature, self center, egotistical, narcissistic obstructionists

    January 2, 2013 at 3:39 pm | Report abuse |
  7. california99

    I like Christie! Congress should learn from him...people's business first ...politics second..starting with Boehner!!!

    Great to hear the truth from you Governor!!!!! If I could vote for you on the next election I would but I live in another state!

    January 2, 2013 at 3:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Realist

      Headline – Pork Christie angry there's no Pork Bill

      January 2, 2013 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
  8. DDSIlks

    I admire a person like Christie who is not afraid to slam one of his own party when they are WRONG WRONG WRONG

    January 2, 2013 at 3:39 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Rebecca

    Christie talks like a Democrat when he wants money or needs help. He is a hard line Republican when someone else needs help.

    January 2, 2013 at 3:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dan

      Sounds like a moderate : )

      January 2, 2013 at 4:26 pm | Report abuse |
  10. ER

    Does this surprise anyone? Lazy Congress.

    January 2, 2013 at 3:40 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Mungle Man

    The BoneHead from OHIO should lose his Speaker Seat.

    January 2, 2013 at 3:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Al

      yeah.,.....After Obama becomes intelligent !!!!

      January 2, 2013 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Scrod

      "lose his Speaker Seat." There is nothing he could do that would make him less attractive to the other sharks. He does his master's bidding well, and now NJ is getting paid back for Christie saying Obama helped with the relief efforts. Take that, Christie! Grover got you good!

      January 2, 2013 at 3:45 pm | Report abuse |
  12. David

    The aid isn't just for the people... it's for the infrastructure! No use having a house when you can't even get to it! It's the fix the washed out bridges, roads, sewer lines, etc that are not (as you have idiotically stated) covered by homeowners insurance. Learn!

    January 2, 2013 at 3:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • yoshimoto

      The US government already sent out billions for Sandy. That's it. We are not going to give you unlimited funds to rebuild NY and NJ. And pay for outrageous labor and construction costs. That's your problem. You got funds already. That's it. Work with that. Fix it yourselves. Heck, it was only a Cat 1 storm. Sure you had damage, but so did others in other hurricanes. Why does NY NJ think they deserve more? Quit whining.

      January 2, 2013 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Mike

    Wow I am confused when huricane Katrina hit the Gulf coast it was president Buchs fault that no money, aid or any kind of relief got to the people. Now you people are telling me its not the presidents fault its the GOP??? How does Obama do it nothing is ever this guys fault. He screws up for four years spends money like its going out of style, says sorry to anybody who will accept it and then he denies attacks on our people. I remember four years ago their was a guy that made mistakes as well (not as bad as Obama) and it was all his fualt.

    January 2, 2013 at 3:40 pm | Report abuse |
  14. His Dudeness

    It's funny that his weight is first on your hit list. He is not concerned about "Himself". He is concerned for others devastated by a natural disaster. Yes, I agree with him, SHAME on you. Get back under your bridge.

    January 2, 2013 at 3:40 pm | Report abuse |
  15. yoshimoto

    gimme....gimmme....gimmmeee...gimmeee....gimmeee – Sorry folks, we all ready gave you money for Sandy relief. THERE IS NO MONEY. Just because you live in the NYC/NJ area don't think you deserve more for damages than what was allocated for Katrina. Jeanne, Norma and all the other MORE DEVASTATING HURRICANES.. Sorry, we are not going to pay union mobsters $100 per hour to fix things. Quit whining and fix it yourself.

    January 2, 2013 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |
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