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. bodica

    Why have they gone home? We pay them for FULL TIME, everyone else in the Country is working today. Boehner and his cohorts are a bunch of lazy bums.

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

      They went home because this is the end of this congress. A new congress will be sworn in tomorrow.

      January 2, 2013 at 2:53 pm | Report abuse |
  2. LeighVA

    Christi isn't a Republican. Anyone who believes that is sadly deluded and hasn't really paid that close attention to things Christie has done politically. And the Republicans need to put up a true conservative to run in 2016. Not any RINOS like we had with Romney.

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

      To extreme right fanatics like yourself, even Ronald Reagan would be a RINO if he were to run today.

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

      That RINO (Mitt Romney)j was the best the Republican party had to offer, correct? Why would they nominate anyone other than their best?

      January 2, 2013 at 4:49 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Steve- Illinois

    Blah, blah, blah.....it makes no immiediate difference in aid, and they all know it.
    The bill is filled with nonsense and sends "relief" to states half-way across the country that felt no effect from Sandy.
    Just more grandstanding by politicians.

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

    Boehner doesn't care about the riff-raff... and to him, all victims of this storm are nothing but riff-raff. It didn't affect him and his family, so why should he care?

    January 2, 2013 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Eric

    Republicans are the party of austerity-for-everyone-but-myself-and-the-rich, what did Christie expect? Helping a bunch of blue states after a disaster? Perhaps if most of the disaster areas affected rich Wall Street bankers, or was inside a uterus, they would care.

    January 2, 2013 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Trey

    Congress is an absolute embarrassment for this country. Their inability to compromise and handle issues on a timely basis is inexcusable. I have lost all respect for them in the past few years.

    January 2, 2013 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Romney

    What you expect frm your leader when you praise OBAMA before election.

    January 2, 2013 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse |
  8. 1termlimts

    TERM LIMITS before they destroy us all!!!!! Washington is BROKE. PEOPLE WAKE THE F%^& UP

    January 2, 2013 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse |
  9. BlackDynamite

    "We were too busy protecting the rich from taxes. What's Hurricane Sandy?"

    – GOP

    January 2, 2013 at 2:50 pm | Report abuse |
  10. OldAndInTheWay

    Maybe Fattie Christie could cut his food consumption in half and use that money to rehab his poor excuse for a state. Why does he think the rest of us want to pay to rebuild that cesspool?

    January 2, 2013 at 2:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • 1termlimts

      Your name says it all!!! I live in NJ and NO it is not a cesspool like you state.I hope your State never faces a nature disaster and has it's hand out for money from the Fed....GO take your MEDS!

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

      You are a complete fool!!! Have you ever visited New Jersey, been to the South Jersey costal towns? I would suppose you have never travelled more then 50 miles from the place of your birth.

      January 2, 2013 at 3:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • jlmphotography

      Thank you! I have a home on the Maine coast, and I live in South Jersey and I still THANK YOU! This place is a cesspool. I freakin' hate it. If it weren't for the fact that my spouse and I have reached almost teachers retirement age we would have been out of this cesspool years ago. We can't wait to get the heck out of this dump of a state.

      January 2, 2013 at 4:04 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Mark

    I live in NJ by the shore, I am a republican and a 1%'r if you will and am disgusted by Boehner (BONNER?) and the rest of the bums. They royally screwed many families in the tristate area! NICE going. Boehner just resign TODAY your so pathetic!

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

      Please elaborate a little on your comment-what should the Congress have done?

      January 2, 2013 at 3:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mark

      take a drive to state island or the jersey shore...Here is the "trick" answer-approved the funding.

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

      Get over your loss and take it like a man. Why didn't the people get flood insurance,especially living next to water. The government should not have even stepped into this mess to begin with. Live your life on your own terms and don't look at the government for food and shelter.

      January 2, 2013 at 3:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kamran Sikandar

      The flood insurance that you talk about does not pay for electricity, roads and infrastructure. Government has to provide that. The money Governor Christie asked for is to do just that. As an American you should be worried about the welfare of fellow Americans. Instead you call them beggars. Shame on you.

      January 2, 2013 at 5:39 pm | Report abuse |
  12. MrRickinNH

    This is fun watching the GOP self destruct... and right before our very eyes! Good work guys... if U run outa bullets let me know!

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

      we are for freedom, low taxes and NO HANDOUTS.Life is very simple if you learn few skills.

      January 2, 2013 at 3:25 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Kevin

    Geee Willy! Could this possibly be PAYBACK to the american people because we did not vote for Mitt Romney????

    January 2, 2013 at 2:50 pm | Report abuse |
  14. ScottIndependent

    Clinton/Christie 2016!!

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

      Hey Scott- the winner would be the USA-finally we may have 2 worthy candidates

      January 2, 2013 at 3:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • BrainDamagedDems

      Clinton? shes kaput, damaged goods with a clot in her brain...Christie? will not vote for this fat guy Im not even sure if he can finish his term as governor because of his health issues.

      January 2, 2013 at 3:26 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Meh

    we need more politicians and leaders like Christie.

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