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. yoshijosh

    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 | Reply
    • Scrod

      "gimmeee....gimmeee – Sorry folks, we all ready gave you money for Sandy relief" There's the GOP Party Line: We don't care. America. Fix it yourself. Forget the government and look to the unions or neighborhood gangs for organization and relief, because when one government fails, a new one arises.

      January 2, 2013 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Al

    And Shame on Obama and his Senate jerks for waiting so long to do anything !!!

    January 2, 2013 at 3:42 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Scrod

      "Shame on Obama and his Senate jerks for waiting so long" Yeah, because this is totally Boehner's fault according to the Republicans. Your orange hero just ran off for a drink instead of voting to help people who are freezing in the dark.

      January 2, 2013 at 3:47 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Realist

    Question- which is made up of more pork Christie's belly or the House Bill he is crying about?

    January 2, 2013 at 3:42 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Sharon C

    I would be one of the ones ticked off if they DID vote and passed it! Have any of you crying "foul" dared to read the damn thing??? Do you know how much PORK is in that bill? Yes, yes and yes to the Sandy relief, but NO, NO AND NO to all the crap they're loading into it on top of the aid so they can get as much out of the feds $$ as possible.

    January 2, 2013 at 3:42 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • UhClem

      You wouldn't know pork if it defecated on your feet.

      January 2, 2013 at 3:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • grafixer

      WHO... WHICH SENATORS... Wrote the bill??

      January 2, 2013 at 3:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Andrea

      Where can I read this Sandy Bill myself?

      January 2, 2013 at 3:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cynthia

      Telll us, what you consider pork? Don't tell us half the story tell us everything. What in the bill is pork?

      January 2, 2013 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Scrod

      "Do you know how much PORK is in that bill?" Neither do you. Someone on the radio TOLD you that was why Boehner ran off, and you'll believe anything. This is going to wreck Jersey for a while, and that will trickle down to you soon. Higher prices for YOU, coming soon.

      January 2, 2013 at 3:53 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Twist

    Buy or build a house on a little strip of land out into the ocean and now your surprised that you got wet. And you expe5 someone else to pay for your folly? Now that is stupid!

    January 2, 2013 at 3:44 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Josh

      My uncle and aunt in Princeton were without power for 11+ days. Princeton is something like 50 miles inland.

      January 2, 2013 at 3:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • genold

      Yeah and it's stupid to buy and build on a Southern Coast, or build in the midwest where there could be tornado's, and in California where there are earthquakes, and in the Minnesota, North Dakota, and in Maine where it snows a lot, and along the Southern Border where it is too close to Mexico. Yeah in fact it is stupid to build anywhere, Twist!

      January 2, 2013 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
  6. realfreeenterpriser

    Seems like the Republicans had no problem pulling out all the stops in a desperate effort to protect the well-to-do from paying their fair share in taxes. But when it comes to across-the-board help for regular people who are the victims of a natural disaster they're nowhere to be found. What's new? Unfortunately, Republicans can only get elected if the same poor, white people that they continually ignore keep voting for them.

    January 2, 2013 at 3:44 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  7. southernwonder

    so, now republican christie wants a federal program? wasn't he opposed to such things when others needed help?

    January 2, 2013 at 3:45 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Scrod

      " republican christie" They are kicking him out for being nice to Obama. He found out last night. He can be a Democrat now.

      January 2, 2013 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
  8. joe

    you really think there is a difference between the two major parties??? Really?? you better wake up and do some research.

    January 2, 2013 at 3:45 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  9. AgentGG

    We should note that Sandy struck the Northeast, which has nearly ZERO House members and where all the states hit by Sandy were won by Obama. Is it a coincidence that southern (read: Confederate) members of the House would refuse to give Federal aid to this region after having to bite hard on the fiscal cliff deal? No. But it truly shows that the House Republicans are not interested in a functioning and democratic U.S.A. as we know it. They are more than a disgrace, their ideological rigor and lack of governance is a threat to the coherence and stability of our nation.

    A final note - to those sane voices in the GOP remaining: your party has been taken hostage by extremist radical elements and you must take it back.

    January 2, 2013 at 3:45 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Scrod

      "southern (read: Confederate) members of the House" Every Confederate state voted for Mitt. He is the President of the Confederacy now. Save your Dixie cups, the South will rise again.

      January 2, 2013 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
  10. kookoobear

    I am for rebuilding inter structure and cleaning up public property but I am not willing to rebuild every bodies personal property. That is what private insurance for. If you don't have insurance, sorry your choice. If you couldn't afford insurance then you should have lived somewhere else. I have insurance on my property and pay a bundle. Why shouldn't you?

    January 2, 2013 at 3:45 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Franco

    America, you need a parlimentary system, things move very quickly

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

    Come on Congress....give them some more money.....we can borrow like Obama can't we?????????

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

    I'm very sorry for the people that have been hit by Sandy, but really...$60 billion in aid? The state of Florida's entire operating budget for this current fiscal year was $69.9 billion. You can almost run an entire state (one of the most populated states, mind you) on what they proposed as Sandy storm aid. Maybe I am clueless on how much things cost and how much was really damaged, but $60 BILLION seems a bit excessive. I would think that most of these people/cities had insurance on their homes/public buildings, so wouldn't the insurance companies pay out a good chunk of the damages?

    January 2, 2013 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Libdumb

    Cristie is nothing but a Rino. Like his photo opt with Obama before the election. Get even time Cristie.

    January 2, 2013 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Chuck Ohio

    Funny how fat boy chimes up 3 months late... where has he been on getting this done before this? I agree they need the relief but this weekend was not the time, way too much going on but thats not to say it shouldn't have been done 2 months ago... where was Fatboy then?

    January 2, 2013 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • genold

      Well Chuck he has been dealing with the disaster and trying to get Congress to get off its bu tt and actually start to fund some of the relief aid they promised. That's what he has been doing.

      January 2, 2013 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Scrod

      " where has he been on getting this done before this?" He is the Governor of New Jersey, not Senator. They don't propose legislation. All together now for Chuck:" Oh, I'm just a Bill, up on Capitol Hill . . ."

      January 2, 2013 at 3:57 pm | Report abuse |
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