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. Nick Gencarelle

    Billions they are asking for not millions? Why should we pay for people to live near the beach which will be destroyed again and again? Many were told to leave and stayed with their vehicles releasing tons of toxic crap into the environment-they should be fined not given relief. They will go ahead and build the same kind of foolish wooden frames with fiberglass insulation and sheetrock foolishly and once again this will happen and what we all are supposed to pay for the repairs of stupidity? Let them scream.

    January 2, 2013 at 4:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sue NYC

      You do realize there was plenty of damage away from the coast?? There was plenty of damage inland – in NY, there was wind damage up in Westchester, Rockland and Putnam counties – some were without power for 2 weeks! But hey, way to show compassion Nick!

      January 2, 2013 at 4:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Scrod

      " Let them scream." I can just feel God's love shining out from your heart. You are a beacon of inspiration to us all. These inspiring words should be the motto of the entire GOP.

      January 3, 2013 at 9:55 am | Report abuse |
  2. Scrod

    Christie admitted that Obama is the President and that he aided the relief efforts. Now he is being punished for that. That's what they think of America; it's a dog for them to kick. Vote these awful people out.

    January 2, 2013 at 4:31 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Rosa Birmingham, AL

    Christie is obviously not a real Republican. Look at him asking for hand outs. Shameful.

    January 2, 2013 at 4:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • jfoster13

      Asking for handouts? What, for people who lost everything? So I guess a "real" republican is nothing but a tight-fisted, cold hearted, Grinch.

      January 2, 2013 at 4:53 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Lynndel Humphreys

    Why should NJ NY etc. be treated any differently than anyone else?

    January 2, 2013 at 4:32 pm | Report abuse |
  5. vernon h

    he must be out of his dam mine for dropping the vote

    January 2, 2013 at 4:39 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Wayne

    Forget what Christy says... This wouldnt be the first time he has been dis-loyal to his party... And before you say it, yes he gave Obama a high five for Obama doing what exactly???? HIS JOB!!!!! BSBSBS!!!!! Obama has divided this country more than what we had during the civil war.. What will be his legacy?? Spent more than any other president in the HISTORY of this country. But ran in 2008 on cutting the deficit in half during his first term. Anyone who thinks he has done a good job is either lazy as crap and doesnt want to work, an idiot or uneducated. Choose your flavor!!

    January 2, 2013 at 4:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Wayne in Chelsea, AL

      Oh yea, where is Obama now in the aftermath of hurricane Sandy? Remember how concerned he was pre-election!!! Politicians suck!!! Both sides!! They would rather lie than tell the truth.Bunch of scoundrals.

      January 2, 2013 at 4:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Scrod

      " And before you say it, yes he gave Obama a high five for Obama doing what exactly???? HIS JOB!!!!"

      Christie is being punished by his party for admitting that Obama did not pull a George W and leave people who didn't vote for him to actually drown. Dubya was pleased to see an American city wrecked because it meant a lot of dead Democrats and less 'enemies' to oppose his rule. Obama, looking at a coastline full of GOP voters, saw Americans in need and showed up to help. Now those people are being denied by the GOP in order to punish Christie. What did they get for their GOP votes?

      January 3, 2013 at 10:11 am | Report abuse |
  7. demogoat

    60 Billion might fix the buildings that were damaged at the tip of Manhattan and maybe the subway. This isn't main street in Open Pants Montana.

    January 2, 2013 at 4:49 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Dann

    TallyChick Wrote: "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."

    NJ suffered 36B+ in damage alone. We're not talking about the budget to run & maintain a state, we're talking about rebuilding large portions of a state from the infrastructure up. 72,000 Homes & Business were severely damaged or destroyed. Think about that. 72-Thousand! State Revenue in NJ was down 30% in the following month, and over 25% in November & December combined.

    People seem to forget that NJ has the 2nd highest per-capita income, and despite being the 3rd smallest state, they're the 11th most populous and 1st in population density. 9 NJ Counties are in the Nation's top-100 wealthiest. NJ's Budget is about 63B at a mean taxation rate of 12%. The 25% loss in just 2 months caused a 10.5B loss in gross earnings across the state and well over 1B towards the budget. The longer the wait is to get this relief package to rebuild, the more the overall loss figures grow, at about 5B a month – just where NJ is concerned.

    January 2, 2013 at 4:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tim

      Does the $60 Billion package still include $200-300 million for the Alaskan fisheries, and other pork barrel projects. Shame on the Congress for using a relief bill to spend money we don't have on a pet projects utterly unrelated to the storm.

      January 2, 2013 at 4:56 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Tom

    The Speaker of the House is rotten to the core!

    January 2, 2013 at 4:54 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Nik

    um Nah, I am a democrat and I voted for Christie and WILL vote again. Know why? Because I evaluate PERSON first, then PARTY.

    January 2, 2013 at 5:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Scrod

      " I am a democrat and I voted for Christie and WILL vote again" He'll probably be a Democrat next election.

      January 3, 2013 at 10:37 am | Report abuse |
  11. JET

    Omg...Christy will lambaste Obama for the debt... But when it comes to money for his state, well thats different. then all the sudden its spend spend spend.
    food stamps? to heck with them. Just give me MY money.

    January 2, 2013 at 5:13 pm | Report abuse |
  12. ohsnap

    I hate to say it, but this is payback for Christie praising Obama. And that's a shame. I knew it was coming...just didn't know when. Too bad people have to suffer in the process.

    January 2, 2013 at 6:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Scrod

      "I hate to say it, but this is payback for Christie praising Obama. And that's a shame. " People who voted GOP are getting denied by the GOP over the governor telling the truth in a crisis. Are they all going to vote GOP again, even after their houses fall down? This is as bad as it gets. Having a black president has driven these people out of their minds.

      January 3, 2013 at 10:40 am | Report abuse |
  13. Hide Behind

    It is long past time the eastern seaboard, heck yhe whole of the original 13 colonial lands, stop sucking the blood out of the rest of nation.
    Yes Nj has a very high per capita income yet 40 percent of its populace are below poverty level and almost 20% survive on under 14k a year.
    GRAB a pen and pencil now figure what the real average of those who say they are middle class earn. If 40 % live under 38.5k and the 60% live at mean of 320kwith 20% over 750k pee year then youhear them whining for aid?
    NYC worse yet as they are a net loss citywhen it comes to productive enterprises that can be used anywheres else in states.
    REMOVE the money houses that sskim wealth off of nation and NYC are inmajority beggers of welfare.

    January 2, 2013 at 7:51 pm | Report abuse |
  14. trinity

    Its all in the revenge plan, dont you know? African-Americans claimed George Bush planned Katrina to wipe out poor blacks .... Sandy was Obama`s plan to wipe-out middle class whites! Seriously Gov. Christie is right, but if there is no money to give, that is a different story. If it was a political tactic intentionally done, that is disgusting

    January 2, 2013 at 8:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Scrod

      " Seriously Gov. Christie is right, but if there is no money to give, that is a different story. If it was a political tactic intentionally done, that is disgusting"
      It's payback for Christie being grateful that Obama didn't desert him Dubya-style.

      January 3, 2013 at 10:42 am | Report abuse |
  15. Jim

    Im very disgusted by our government leaders period. Our forefathers would be ashamed

    January 2, 2013 at 8:41 pm | Report abuse |
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