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. sunnygirl

    Unfortunately most insurance available to homeowners don't cover damage due to natural disasters. Therein lies the rub–these companies need to be forced to change their policies!!

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

    Yet another example of how the GOP are willing to screw Americans just to get back at Christie for being too friendly with Obama after Hurricane Sandy. For the Republicans it's all about trying to beat Obama rather than serving the American people. The GOP are nothing but a failed and defeated party. Obama won so get over it and do your jobs or get the hell out of congress!

    January 2, 2013 at 3:09 pm | Report abuse |
  3. akmac65

    The true nature of the TP is again revealed. The people mean nothing unless they have millions to contribute to political campaigns on the GOP side. The only good here is that the TP is cutting its own throat.

    January 2, 2013 at 3:09 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Kr55

    I would vote for Christie for president. He could probably win identifying as an independent with how disillusioned people are with democrats and republicans.

    January 2, 2013 at 3:10 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Jo

    How about NY and NJ raise taxes on their own residents and quit looking for a handout! I'm sick on inland residents across this country who have to subsidize the "rich" coastal homeowners!

    January 2, 2013 at 3:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • steve-0

      Hope you don't get tornados, floods, fires or any other disasters

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

      Jo, I love it. You are the new Republican! Good for you! (Hope you don't get any tornados where you live and you'll be fine!)

      January 2, 2013 at 3:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Michael

      Make you a deal. You can quit subsidizing hurricane relief and the rest of us can quit subsidizing farms, tornado disasters, all those roads to nowhere, and your internet and cable connections.

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

      Gee... what about all the aid that flows into MO, KS, OH, OK etc., after floods and tornadoes? Why don't you "inlanders" pay for those?

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

      Jo you are a clown. NJ residents have some of the highest taxes in the country. You are a set of clown shoes.

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

      Most of those people hit by the storms are certainly not rich. They are working class Americans whose taxes also subsidize those hit by earthquakes, blizzards and tornadoes and hurricanes in other states.

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

      huh? What are you talking about. This is called helping Americans. Its what this country does. If you don't like it, move. nd next time a tornado hits your town, don't ask for help.

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

      OK...so get ready to give back the farm subsidies that go from these coastal states to the breadbasket states...see it goes both ways.

      January 2, 2013 at 3:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • reggie222

      Actually, NY and NJ pay considerably more into taxes than 80% of the rest of the country. They also take lower returns in terms of federal dollars relative to what they pay than 80% of the rest of the country.

      January 2, 2013 at 3:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • A man

      O shame on them. Wow, prolific.

      January 2, 2013 at 3:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • ialsoagree

      Firstly, NY, NJ, and CT are all states that generate revenue for the federal government. That is, for every dollar our states provide to the fed, we get less than a dollar back in federal aid. So, you're welcome for US letting YOU mooch off OUR hard work.

      Secondly, these are not all rich people who were affected, in fact, rich or well off communities are the minority that were affected. Areas of Queens – one of the poorest areas of NYC – were completely destroyed by Hurricane Sandy. These people have no place to go, no food, no clothing, no medicine, and have been without these things for over NINE WEEKS.

      This is unprescedented in US history. It took Congress only a matter of DAYS to pass federal relief funding for the victims of Katrina, and the House passed that measure with a simple voice vote, no electronic count needed.

      Yet, when it comes to NY, NJ, and CT, states that aren't red, and actually provide income to the federal government, our states are left out in the cold to fend for ourselves.

      This is appauling, and inhumane.

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

      i I totally agree with you. I live in California were we raised sales tax after the 1980 earth quake for repair and relief.

      January 2, 2013 at 3:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Marion

      The "rich" coastal home owners"??? are you living in a cave somewhere? didn't you watch the devastating damage to areas along the coastline that were simple homes destroyed by the storm? Are you that clueless that you think only "rich"people own homes near or on the coastline? are you simply that heartless? You'd be singing a different tune if a tornado hit your home and destroyed it, wouldn't you? please don't even answer....as anything you say will be pure rubbish.

      January 2, 2013 at 3:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dan in New York

      Rather ironic the when Louisiana got slammed by Katrina that aid was on the way within ten days. Don't think that it had anything to do with the fact that La. is a red state, and the both houses and the POTUS were Repukes in 2005. Guess NY, NJ, CT get screwed for being blue states.

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

      Hey Jo – we already pay the highest state and local taxes in the nation. This was a terrible storm and its obivous by your response that you don't have an ounce of sympathy in your body. Let's hope you never experience a storm where you see your home and your neighbors homes completely demolished. We still have people with no homes, and homes that were not completely demolished but have no heat and water. People with their belongings completely gone so give it a break with your crap about asking for handouts. My New York response to you is up yours!!!!!

      January 2, 2013 at 3:29 pm | Report abuse |
  6. ki

    So they are sticking to Christie because he said Thank you to the President! Boy, with repub friends like the right Christie don't need enemies!

    January 2, 2013 at 3:10 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Anne

    If this was a real emergency, what is President Obama doing on the beach in Hawaii?

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

      Serously, Anne? You and Boehner must be sniffing the same stuff because you both need a reality check.

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

      You apparently don't know how Congress functions. This is not about the President, but you will find a way.

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

      What the hell does that have to do with anything?

      Did you take christmas off ?

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

      You do realize the election is over? You lost. Big. Let's allow our duly elected president a little R&R. You are now extremely irrelevant. Go away.

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

      it's amazing that Republican leadership was so concerned after the election that they needed to paint a prettier picture of themselves. Ever see The Scream by Munch?

      January 2, 2013 at 3:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • LouSan

      Anne thank you for showing everyone how ignorant you are!

      January 2, 2013 at 3:34 pm | Report abuse |
  8. lisaspups

    This would be hilarious if it wasn't so tragic.

    January 2, 2013 at 3:11 pm | Report abuse |
  9. InfiniteJest

    Just to set OldJoe straight, New Jersey receives the least amount of federal funds back vs. what they send to Washington (61 cents received for every dollar paid) and New York is 42nd, receiving 79 cents back for every dollar paid in. Here is a list of the Top 10 moocher states in order getting the most and paying the least: New Mexico, Mississippi, Alaska, Louisiana, West Virginia, North Dakota, Alabama, South Dakota, Kentucky and Virginia – predominantly red states – don't let facts get in your way.

    January 2, 2013 at 3:11 pm | Report abuse |
  10. grayfox5

    Uh...Chris? You shouldn't have acted like a responsible appreciative human being when President Obama came to provide support. That alone earned you the wrath of the GOP. Forget about the middle-class, forget about the people in need, the GOP ideologues have an agenda, and it doesn't include them. Obama even URGED the House to consider the proposal, and they did what they do best: nothing. And this is the party you want to belong to?

    January 2, 2013 at 3:11 pm | Report abuse |
  11. John C

    That money will just go to a bunch of rich people anyway, let them get used to paying their own way.

    January 2, 2013 at 3:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • lurker315

      have you been to Staten Island?

      January 2, 2013 at 3:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jimm

      Really? You do realize that most of the people affected are hard working middle class, don't you?

      January 2, 2013 at 3:18 pm | Report abuse |
  12. knklhead

    ... too bad, Mr. Christie ... the NEW Wing Nut Right feels that everyone should fend for themselves .. except, of course, the rich corporations (oil) who still require government subsidies.

    Congratulations, Rebups. This is your new party. I can see you are mad at those lazy Sandy victims who want to take other peoples' money, right? Get a job, Sandy victims.

    January 2, 2013 at 3:12 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Bee

    Fescobeo999& OldJoe,
    You both are an insensitive Ass Holes.Since it didn't happen to you or your love ones, kick them down that road, and let them find help elsewhere,..Stupid, this is not about hand outs..It is about helping people who were devastated by this horrific storm, in every conceivable way possible.I thank god that my family in New york was spared.

    January 2, 2013 at 3:13 pm | Report abuse |
  14. markfromdover

    Gov Christie and Peter King should switch parties. There's plenty of room for conservative democrats in the party.

    January 2, 2013 at 3:13 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Ballsy

    What a shame!

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