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. adamcoasttocoast

    Boehner and Congress dropped the ball again? SHOCKING

    January 2, 2013 at 2:59 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Been Telling You

    As you sow...so shal you reap.
    Good luck with these Tea Party lunatics in your midst.

    January 2, 2013 at 2:59 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Jim Hahn

    Governor Christie, you now know what being an all-about-me Republican is all about. It is not helping those around you. It is not representing your country in good faith. It is about making sure the party's reputation as a spendthrift is in tact, except when it comes to the wealthy. It is about about putting party before country and your own reelection before party. It also shows that Republicans do not care about states that vote Democratic as New York, New Jersey and Connecticut always do. Welcome to life under the bus.

    January 2, 2013 at 2:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • PushingBack

      You know, he's got to be wondering about some of that now.

      January 2, 2013 at 3:25 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Janis

    Typical republican sentiment demonstrated by Boehner, if it doesn't concern their very rich corporate masters, then it can wait. Too busy fighting for the rich, to consider the average citizen. Just when you think the republicans could not sink any lower, they always do.

    January 2, 2013 at 2:59 pm | Report abuse |
  5. gladiatorgrl


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



    yeah, serves him right for trying to act like an American instead of a party hack.
    maybe now Christie will realize what TYPE of party he's IN. IF one is not a "party hack" they're a RINO.

    signed – current RINO

    January 2, 2013 at 2:59 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Bill from NJ

    How many of you trolling on here are from states impacted by the storm? It's disgusting to read some of the comments on here. Have family members or friends who had a place to call home one day and are homeless the next and let's see how outraged you are then....Some of you live by your political lines, rather than thinking of the impact that this had on everyday people.....

    January 2, 2013 at 3:00 pm | Report abuse |
  7. DaveW

    It is time for Boehner to quietly resign so our Republican party can begin to rebuild toward 2014. Boehner is not serving his nation properly. The House has a job to do and they have done precious little actual work since 2010. I don't care if they worked over New Year's – that's the job and it's good work. Just do what you're supposed to do Boehner

    January 2, 2013 at 3:00 pm | Report abuse |
  8. ian

    come over to the dark side, chris!
    the dems can use you. the republicans don't want you. you know you wanna do it. come on...become a democrat ronnie reagan switched teams...you can too...just do it ; )

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

      LOL!! Love it!! I came over to the dark side with you. I am ashamed of the Republican party.

      January 2, 2013 at 3:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sari

      Me too. I'm not happy with the Dems, either, but the Repubs are the embarrassment of the nation lately. If they could get it together and regroup, I might reconsider.

      January 2, 2013 at 3:06 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Daniel L. Slayton

    Love my Yankees but people from New York and New Jersey and been on the take for so many years and now they want more...............

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

      "Love my Yankees but people from New York and New Jersey and been on the take for so many years and now they want more.."

      These states contribute more than they get back in federal aid, actually paying for the freeloading backward red states. But once again, right wingers can't be bothered with facts, only opinions.

      January 2, 2013 at 3:07 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Paul

    Christie now has the power to break the GOP if he decides to run in 2016.

    January 2, 2013 at 3:01 pm | Report abuse |
  11. R.U. Kidding

    Vote the GOP Obstructionist Party out of office!

    January 2, 2013 at 3:01 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Darn skippy!

    If you own a home on a beach, you are out of luck when it gets crushed by a storm. Your life, your responsibility.

    January 2, 2013 at 3:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bill from NJ

      The storm didn't only impact those that live on the coast...Rivers breached banks as well......

      January 2, 2013 at 3:06 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Lynndel Humphreys

    We have governmental agencies already funded can they not take care of the needs.

    January 2, 2013 at 3:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lynndel Humphreys

      Do these people not have insurance like most.

      January 2, 2013 at 3:11 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Stryder

    Just finished watching his remarks. He really laid it on Boehner. I'm no Repub but I sure love it when they rip on each other. Watching the GOP implode is the greatest thing in politics right now. Death to the GOP. Vote them out in 2014. All of them!!!

    January 2, 2013 at 3:01 pm | Report abuse |
  15. victoria

    If only Christie would switch parties!

    January 2, 2013 at 3:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • PushingBack

      He needs to keep up the fight for his own party's sanity and that isn't going to be easy. I never used to care for him but now feel bad that he has to deal with repercussions for nothing more than being honest. He is in the wrong party for honesty!

      January 2, 2013 at 3:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Stryder

      Agreed. He'd make a good Dem.

      January 2, 2013 at 3:06 pm | Report abuse |
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