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. Jack Waggon

    This is pay back from the Republican leaders for Chris Christie's praise of Obama during the Sandy disaster right before the election. Small minded leaders in congress that feel they need to to show that they have the power and that if you are not politically aligned with them they will make your life difficult regardless of how many American's are impacted. These people betray the oath of office they pledged when they came into office and the people they pledge to serve.

    January 2, 2013 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • martin

      The pettier the bureaucrat the harsher the rule...

      January 2, 2013 at 2:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jack Waggon II

      You make absolutely no sense. Politicians make a pledge to the people, not their party. All politicians should do their best to reach across the aisle like Christie did with Obama. Party Politics is how we got into this mess in the first place. In the days that followed the disaster, Obama obviously placed a lot more weight on Sandy (than Bush did with Katrina). What's wrong with giving the president credit for flying to the disaster zone immediately?

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

      The congressional oath of office, to me, isn't compatible with the oath they swore to Norquist so they've been betraying their oath of office for as long as they've been serving while under the other oath.

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

      I agree with Jack Waggon 100%. Somewhere the people in Washington forget the loyalty should be country first and party afterwards. What has happened to our country where we have lost people who were statemen. I was disgusted to see Senator Dole speak in support of the Healthcare Bill and have all his fellow republican colleagues vote against the bill.

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

      I never looked at it that way but with this congress I wouldn't put it past them to do something like this and hurt American people in the process. The teabaggers need to pack up their tea and move to another country.

      January 2, 2013 at 2:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • zooni

      Exactly, but Christie knows how the GOP operate. Were tax deferrals for corporations hiding money overseas on the table. If the GOP was elected they would have created a tax holiday for corporation hiding money and making them billions. They are not happy. The off shoring of jobs has many reasons, product quality is not one of them. Money paid to tax payers in need is tax money not available for corporate greed.

      January 2, 2013 at 2:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Namealvaro quesada

      You hit it right on the nail jack. Shame on these politicians whose only concern is their political well being. We need to fire these people as soon as possible. Playing politics games with people's lives is absurd. Not very proud to be an american today.

      January 2, 2013 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
  2. gladiatorgrl

    awww Christie better realize what party he's in and who his daddy is. Sleep with dogs you get fleas

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

      yeah, serves him right for trying to act like an American instead of a party hack.

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

      in his case.. he ate the dog and got gas.

      Funny how the fed is bad until people need them.

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

      Sums it up well.

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

      YES, and you get roaches, and disease, and everything bad! If you sleep with the GOP the one thing you will never get is a straight answer or ANY HELP!

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

    leadership was all-consumed with the cliff procedure ... and they really have not had the time to devote to this because of that."

    If this was a tax cut for the rich or corporations you can be 100% certain the GOP would have found the time to approve it.

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

      Well said!

      January 2, 2013 at 2:48 pm | Report abuse |
  4. FrayedJeff

    Oh look, more games, less work by the House. Go figure...

    January 2, 2013 at 2:46 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Kevin

    It almost sounds like Republicans are giving up on trying to win the House seats or presidency for the next 50 years if they keep up these kind of childish antics.

    January 2, 2013 at 2:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • 1termlimts

      Kevin, wont matter till we get all of them out of Washington! We don't have 5 years let alone 50....

      January 2, 2013 at 2:51 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Maggie

    Shame on those who put other things into the bill IN ADDITION TO funding for Sandy. Like the Alaska fisheries? What's up with that?

    January 2, 2013 at 2:46 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Anders Behring Breivik (King of the Island)

    What aid package...didn't they have this super concert where millions of $$$ went to the Sandy victims? Oh wait...there wasn't to much left over after everybody else got paid!

    January 2, 2013 at 2:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jon D

      I haven't read anything about the funds from the concert getting wasted – but even if it was,
      the show raised $30 million, whereas the relief bills were from $26 – $60 billion, so your comment
      makes no sense.

      January 2, 2013 at 2:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jon

      The benefit concert with Bruce Springsteen and others raised around 50 million dollars, and it is going to the victims. The aid that the House was voting on is more than ten times that amount, 60 billion dollars. Comparing the two doesn't make sense.

      January 2, 2013 at 2:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • betterdays

      Yes, there really is no comparison, because a billion is 1000 million, not 100 million.

      And I'd bet most Americans do not even know that much basic math, when it comes to aid, debt, tax revenues or anything else. They just go out and vote as they're told to vote by Springsteen and the like, dumb-de-dumb....

      January 2, 2013 at 3:33 pm | Report abuse |
  8. ditka

    bunch of jerk wads and BBoehner leads the pack. Time to dump him and do a total overhaul on the Republican party. This is all so ridiculous. Making millions of people wait to hear if their taxes are going to shoot up, then this.
    They seem so proud on tv but it's total BS. They could have resolved this months ago.

    January 2, 2013 at 2:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jim D.

      If you didn't know taxes were going to shoot up at the start of 2013 then you're the sheeple. Obamacare is raising taxes all by itself at a cost of about $1000 per individual and $3500 per family of four. Taxes were already going up it was just a matter of how much farther. Then this only gets us to March. At that time all of this will expire and we are back on the fiscal cliff once again.

      And before anyone wants to try and blame this on the GOP remember this. The DEMS had every opportunity to push it back and say no. They also agreed to this same vote so they are just as accountable as the GOP. In fact their "$1 in spending cuts per $40 in tax hikes" show clearly that they have no respect for the economy or the people of this country. You don't get yourself out of debt until you curb the spending and that never happens by borrowing more money. If you think that is a valid action plan try it with your credit card company. Max out your credit card and then tell them you are planning to get yourself out of debt and want an increase on your limit to help with that...

      January 2, 2013 at 4:06 pm | Report abuse |
  9. honestmidwest

    It appears even the Republicans are realizing what the Republicans are about – only concerned about themselves and not anyone else. What more proof do people want? It is a sad tribute to their priorities.

    January 2, 2013 at 2:48 pm | Report abuse |
  10. taffylinden

    I am shaking my head. Why would Republican leadership WANT to look so callous and uncaring? Aren't they trying to revamp their image after the last election? Oh, and for those of you who are going to post–as you have on other threads on Hurricane Sandy relief–that if people had homeowners insurance, they wouldn't need a "handout," you should know that very few homeowners' policies out there cover flooding–wind damage, yes, flooding, no.

    January 2, 2013 at 2:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • 2009flhtc

      That's just what the Republicans are. And hell, i was one until about 3 years ago. They are pushing middle of the road conservatives away in droves and now they are dumping on their conservative core. Go figure

      January 2, 2013 at 3:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Proud_Republican

      People living by the ocean and nothing having flood insurance is a high risk which they should face on their own. How does the government get involved in this bailout. Lett them figure it out on their own.

      January 2, 2013 at 3:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • betterdays

      I think you can purchase flood insurance, you just have to pay more for it. I'm pretty sure that's how insurance works. And if I could afford a $750,000 beach house in Brigantine, I'd certainly make sure I could also afford flood insurance on it. But I can't, so I don't.

      January 2, 2013 at 4:01 pm | Report abuse |
  11. CJ

    I'm not going to say that this package isn't filled with pork like every other storm relief package but if the money were going to Ohio's 8th district you can be sure John Boehner would have made sure it not only got voted on but got approved in the house.

    January 2, 2013 at 2:48 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Bob A D

    It is hell when your own dog bites you.

    January 2, 2013 at 2:48 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Vence

    I love when these vicious animals turn to each other.

    January 2, 2013 at 2:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • betterdays

      I believe you've used the wrong preposition there, mister gloaty-gloat.

      January 2, 2013 at 4:03 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Jackie

    I agree. Every time I think the leadership has reached the bottom of the barrel, the bottom goes lower.

    January 2, 2013 at 2:48 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Cliff Thompson

    Perhaps Chris can show the Republican leadership how it is done.

    January 2, 2013 at 2:48 pm | Report abuse |
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