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. Aaron

    If this was happening to the victims of Katrina under a Bush administration...OMG!!!!!

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

    Christie is a crybaby ps with an o in the middle.

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

    "King called the House leadership's move a "knife in the back." He's a Republican, did you expect anything different? These are "common people" we are talking about that need help, so it is no big surprise that Republicans did not run to the rescue. Had it been Rich people it would have happened so fast it would make your head dizzy!

    January 2, 2013 at 3:07 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Lee

    Is it possible the Republicans are doing this to punish Gov Christie for complimenting Pres Obama on his handling of Sandy ?

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

      I considered EXACTLY the same thing..the GOP is capable of that...

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


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

      No doubt, and I have a feeling they are going to revoke his republican card. The party is slowly self-destructing.

      January 2, 2013 at 3:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Richard

      This is what I was thinking. The republican party will turn on you if you do no comply with their every wish!

      January 2, 2013 at 3:20 pm | Report abuse |
  5. DemFromSC

    On behalf of the Democratic Party, I would like to invite Gov. Christie to follow former Florida Governor Charlie Crist's lead and switch parties. We Democrats actually care about people and work to get things done for all Americans, not just the 1% crowd.

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

      Christ and Christie! It's a sign! lol

      January 2, 2013 at 3:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cynthia

      I like that combination.

      January 2, 2013 at 4:50 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Mack

    It behooves me how these "self-serving-holier-than-thou-I've-got-the-power-I'm-in-charge" congressional buffoons hold groups (middle class, New Jersey, etc.) hostage as if they are God! These fools are worried about their 2014 re-election already instead of doing their jobs now. The voters in their respective states need to wake up, smell the coffee and vote them out of office; we did in my state!!!

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

      I do not think that word means what you think it means. Please look up the meaning of "behooves".

      January 2, 2013 at 3:29 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Albert Tanstaafl

    Move off of the beaches.

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

      Fool who doesn't know that it didn't just impact those by the beach....

      Fail for those that think the storm just impacted Seaside and Point Pleasant.....

      January 2, 2013 at 3:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • gladiatorgrl

      we first have to get the trailers out of tornado alley there ALWAYS seems to be money for those "acts of God"

      January 2, 2013 at 3:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tom

      Its not about getting a free lunch .... its about helping your neighbor up.

      January 2, 2013 at 3:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • CosmicC

      I agree that building on a barrier island is stupid, but this money is not for the vacation homes. It's for the infrastructure that was damaged. It's to help get businesses up and running. It's to help repair schools. Much of the damage was far inland, in some cases miles from the shore.

      January 2, 2013 at 3:24 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Dude! Where is my country!

    This is a payback for all the great things he said about Obama and probably voting for him. They did throw you under the bus and it is not too late to switch parties for the 2016 election.

    January 2, 2013 at 3:08 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Don DaMiddle

    The strongest GOP candidate for president in 2016 (Christie)
    Hates the GOP. Yep... this party has a solid future.
    Keep it up Tea Party. Don't change a thing.

    January 2, 2013 at 3:08 pm | Report abuse |
  10. The King

    $60 billion??? That seems like a lot. I mean, it's not like its well spent money saving Iraq from evilness or anything.

    January 2, 2013 at 3:08 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Jon Durham

    Best solution I've heard yet.... republican cannibals.

    January 2, 2013 at 3:08 pm | Report abuse |
  12. BigdaddyUSA

    Boehner doesn't care about anybody except his party. He flew home last night on his private jet.

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

    Really? what about your home/auto/property insurance? follow up with them. Oh? what? you DIDN'T have coverage? how irresponsible. Now it is your problem. Suck it up cupcake – WORK you way thru it instead of leading with your hand out for $$!

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

      This money is the fund the Federal flood insurance program that only the Fed provides which these people have and already had been paying premiums on. Regular insurance only pays for wind damage .They are not looking for a free hand out this is for insurance claims that they have been promised when they payed their premiums.

      January 2, 2013 at 3:21 pm | Report abuse |
  14. pamik

    Well, Mr. Christie, now you know how the rest of the US feels. We've all be screwed over by the bigwigs in Washington. Our fearless leader at the tune of $300K each time has gone back to Hawaii to finish his holiday. How many times back & forth was that just over Christmas. Federal employees wages frozen but not the house & senate. Are they NOT federal employees. Everyone of them should ashamed of themselves. Not one of those idiots speaks for me or for most citizens of this country. If you don't make over $500K you're nothing to them.

    January 2, 2013 at 3:09 pm | Report abuse |
  15. CosmicC

    I really do not like Christie's ideology, but when push came to shove, he set politics aside and stood up for his state. Boehner and Cantor simply do not care about the impact their actions have on real people.

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