[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."
This should be a lesson for North Eastern Republicans, that Southern Republicans see them as little better then the Democrats they run against. Time to wake up and realize that the Southern Republicans are in a club of their own and North Easterners are not invited.
Boehner is punishing New Jersey and because Gov. Christie dared to say kind words about President Obama when he toured the state after Hurricane Sandy. Poor New York is being punished for guilt by association. Just wait until the next election. Boehner has just assured that the Democrats will win every seat up for election next time around.
won't happen.. the Democrats are weakening downward ! there will be a new party uprising here soon !
This is sure not the GOP's year. What is WRONG with them? They are going rabid everywhere. I live in the South; they are buying guns and digging bunkers "because the UN is takin' over America." I have relatives hoarding food and ammo and talking about who they will murder as soon as the law is gone.
I'm with you Darryl... Christie SHOULD NEVER be a candidate for our Presidency... he's too dumb and inconsiderate of others... only what he wants... "me, me, me, me..." Obama should bail him out with some hidden money from the White House funds.
Really Christie? You guys want spending cuts, except if it benefits you? Really?
Absolutely shameful Republicans – if it was a red state, they would have voted on this weeks ago
the traitor is getting what him and his state deserves! nothing
Traitor? How is he a traitor? He's done what the people who elected him wanted him to do. A traitor does what the people who elect them don't want them to do... you know like focusing on digging up dirt and being obstructionists instead of solving real problems like GOPers have been doing in D.C. for years now.
Like HZ asked, why is he a traitor?
what a colossally ignorant statement. Could you wear your GOP any higher on your sleeve? Wow. This shouldn't even be about politics but Bonehead Boehner had to make a point that the GOP hates Americans in need. Only worry about the wealthy and let your political differences come between you and common sense. There are people in NY and NJ that desperately need help! Would you stand among those that won't help? Because that's exactly what the GOP leaders are doing here.
"How is he a traitor? " He admitted Obama is the elected president of the United States, and that he did his job well during a crisis instead of playing politics and doing harm to a district that didn't vote for him(like Bush did to NOLA). As a reward, his own party played politics and did his district harm. He'll know better than to tell the truth to power next time!
What happened to removal of the "red tape" that o promised after the storm? Isn't he the one in power?
Athena, the house has to approve the FEMA spending .. the republicans are a divided bunch! I love it.
" Isn't he the one in power?" No, he is the President of the United States. Look it up. It was in all the newspapers and stuff. We have a democratic system in this country; he presides over the working of government but doesn't dictate them. Congress drafts new laws and ordinances, not the chief executive.
When things are good its " Christie saying Obama helped with the relief efforts." When things don't go his way it's "Christie saying shame on Boehner" Christie you're a loser!!
If you're a realist, I'm Albert Einstein. Boehner deserves every bit of blame for this. Christie ripped him a new one and he deserves every bit of that too. There are people in need that we're dealing with here. It's time to put politics aside and get this funding passed. Wake up America!
One caused the other. Christie said something nice about the President pre-election, and now he's going to watch his state twist in the wind because of it. Everyone sees it but you, I guess. Some 'realist.'
That shows what kind of a leader the Speaker is...and he was trying to blame POTUS?!?!?
SHOCKING CNN left out any news about how much junk the liberals tried to jam into this bill. The days of spending like nobody is looking are over. We dont have money and the liberals jammed things into the bill that have nothing to do with Sandy such as things for Alaska and money for NASA in FL.... if it was a clean bill it would've been passed
Thanks, Kim, for sounding a logical voice. Note that nowhere on CNN have the actual contents of the relief bill been discussed. Nowhere is the inevitable pork discussed. It's much easier for CNN to dispense partial information and let the unwashed masses run with it than it is to do the legwork and present the real story. 99% of those posting here obviously need a bath.
Thanks to Boehner, Pelosi and Reid, the GOP is finally DOA. They committed suicide when they pulled this final act of betrayal to American’s hit the hardest. This the final nail in the GOP coffin. They can only blame themselves for the current public openion.
Please help me to vote those 3 out of office.
So, Pelosi and Reid are supposed to protect the GOP?
Kudos to Christie and his bi-partisan efforts to get the bill passed. Shame on Boehner for not even bringing it up for a vote.
If Christie would just pass on one meal so that others might eat...
Love it .....
Why is Gov. Christy so supprised. He belongs to the "Party of No". Who is he asking for the aid for......the people who lost everything and dont have the financial means to lift themselves back up because they live paycheck to paycheck,or the people who lost their six-figure yachts and multi-moillion dollar beach front homes that I see scattered about on the news. Are all these people looking for handouts and "gifts". Where is their insurance company. They knew the risk living where they do. Perhaps we should check party registration and leave the "R's" them to completly fend for themselves in fear of creating more who are "dependant on the government". Sucks when the shoe is on the other foot.
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