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. ian

    what a sad, unkind, and unchristian remark to make.

    January 2, 2013 at 3:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Robbie L.

      If all those hurt by the Hurricane were WEALTHY WHITE PEOPLE, Boehner would have had this bill up for a vote quicker than a hiccup.

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

      Well, we knew that was coming eventually.

      January 2, 2013 at 3:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • some guy

      Its more of a extremely wealthy people (billionaires) vs the rest of america thing now. Lot of people who were affected were wealthy people who were white and black.

      January 2, 2013 at 3:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brian Hartman

      Actually, some of the houses affected *are* owned by relatively well-off people.

      January 2, 2013 at 3:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • secret

      The House Speaker is the worest elected person of all time.I cannot call him a polition.

      January 2, 2013 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Vittoriokiss

      You are right, I am from NJ and those houses that got destroyed all belonged to rich white ppl that can afford a beach house.

      January 2, 2013 at 3:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nik

      Agree as well. Beach Houses and logistics (bridge, road, utility lines) should be out of scope for FEMA aid. Me thinks those beach house owners playing double dip with FEMA and Insurance $.

      January 2, 2013 at 5:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cheena71

      Robbie, you make a good point! Sadly, these "types" of republicans are repeatedly voted in! We've got to reconsider and get rid of the "fat" in 2014!!!!

      January 2, 2013 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Ralph

    Time to phone his buddy Obama....the only thing is he is not taking call in the beach of Honolulu.....

    January 2, 2013 at 3:02 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Darkseider

    Personally I am glad the Bill got held up. It needs to be revised to make sure money isn't going places it's not supposed to. One example is to Alaska and it's salmon hatcheries. Apparently they were effected by Sandy and amazingly Alaska is included in the Bill. So I say take some time and cut out the excess garbage from it before passing it to ensure monies go where deserved and needed.

    January 2, 2013 at 3:02 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Ryan

    I gotta say, I actually like Chris Christie. Straight shooter, actually cares about his state and is willing to criticize his party.

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

      I vote Dem BUT I do love Christie, he's no nonsense.

      January 2, 2013 at 3:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bill

      I respect any politician who can call a wrong when they see it regardless of who made it.

      January 2, 2013 at 3:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • bill.x

      It is no coincidence that the Republicans are doing this to the Governor. It is their punishment for him praising Obama during the election for how he handled the storm relief effort. They are also, in effect, writing-off New York and New Jersey, which they probably feel is no loss to them in 2014 Elections.

      January 2, 2013 at 3:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • jg51

      I agree. He is straightforward and doesn't hold back when it comes to looking out for his state's citizens.

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

      I mostly like him, except when he is using the state helicopter to fly to his kids little league games and having his driver meet the helicopter in the outfield to drive him to the stands.

      January 2, 2013 at 3:13 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Fescobeo999

    A billion here, a billion there. Go ahead, vote and give them all of the billions they want, who cares, we have money out of the wazoo. And please vote also so that all taxpayers above age 45 get 5 million bucks. Everyone deserves a check!

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

      please change that to 43.....i would appreciate it. thanks

      January 2, 2013 at 3:07 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Daniel L. Slayton

    From Houston, and we have had these types of storms since 61 that I know of.........and we just do the best you can..........need to send some cheese for some of this wine.......

    January 2, 2013 at 3:03 pm | Report abuse |
  7. rami

    Sweet.. repubican eating republican flash!!!!

    January 2, 2013 at 3:03 pm | Report abuse |
  8. wonfish

    Rep King and Christie wonder how Republicans can do this. The answer is obvious. They're Republicans! They preach every man for himself. Unless you a white, Christian Southener. Or the super-rich. Then it's every man for them.

    January 2, 2013 at 3:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Oh dear, Jon

      Well, they preach every man for himself until it is himself. Regardless of race or creed, all members of the modern Republican Party will criticize every sliver of a focus group until they fall in to the overlap of the giant Venn Diagram we call America.

      Then they launch media campaigns called "The Liberal Media's War On _______________"

      January 2, 2013 at 3:09 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Darrell

    Have to admit that some of the GOP is starting to gain my respect which makes me think the next election will be interesting for me. Like hearing some actually speaking out against boneheaded decisions and the lame duck manuevers of Boehner. Aid is definitely needed today, not yesterday, for those on the east coast.

    January 2, 2013 at 3:03 pm | Report abuse |
  10. M.E.

    Oh god, they've angered the walrus. Ruuuuun!!!!!!

    January 2, 2013 at 3:04 pm | Report abuse |
  11. right wing welfare

    Damn Republicans denying other Republicans their fair share of the spoils.

    January 2, 2013 at 3:04 pm | Report abuse |
  12. pheaabull

    Why doesn't he ask his friend Obama to get rid of some pork (not Christie) elsewhere so there’s some money available?

    January 2, 2013 at 3:05 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Reality

    Hey Christie, go cry to Obama. You sound more and more like a Democrat every day.

    January 2, 2013 at 3:05 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Fescobeo999

    By the way, if they approve the 60 billion in aid, there goes the projected revenues for this year for taxing the evil rich! But Obama must now be happy because those filthy rich people are getting what they deserve!

    January 2, 2013 at 3:05 pm | Report abuse |
  15. More Ovaltine Mom Please

    Have another Christmas Cookie, Batso.

    January 2, 2013 at 3:05 pm | Report abuse |
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