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'Toxic' GOP House Politics to Blame for Sandy Aid Delay, Christie Says

Governor delivers harsh words for Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Gov. Chris Christie is placing blame for the lengthy delay in approval of a Hurricane Sandy Relief bill squarely on the shoulders of combative U.S. House of Representative Republicans, specifically Speaker John Boehner.

Christie offered a scathing rebuke of Boehner and waffling Republicans during a press conference in Trenton Wednesday afternoon, saying Congress has failed in its primary purpose, to protect its own citizens.

Residents of New York and New Jersey are being used as pawns in a game of politics, he said, and that's why this country's citizens "hate" Washington D.C.

"Last night, politics was placed before help for our citizens," Christie said. "For me, it was disappointing and disgusting to watch."

Christie said he and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo have been working tirelessly with officials of every level of government, all the way to the White House, in an effort to determine the extent of the damage caused by Hurricane Sandy and develop a fair relief package.

Both he and Cuomo where given assurances beginning this past weekend and even Tuesday night that the proposed $60.4 billion aid package would be voted on by the House of Representatives just as soon as the fiscal cliff was addressed. Congress found a resolution for that, but tabled the Sandy package.

Blame for that, Christie said, falls on one man. 

"All I can tell you was that this was the Speaker's decision, his alone," Christie said about Boehner's apparent decision to table the aid package. 

Christie began his presser by offering a disaster roll call. Hurricane Andrew made landfall on Aug. 24, 1992. President George Bush and Congress signed an initial relief package into law in 17 days. Hurricane Katrina made landfall on Aug. 29, 2005. In just 10 days, more than $60 billion in aid was signed into law. Hurricane Gustav and Hurricane Ike both caused significant damage when they hit land in 2008. In a little over two weeks, an aid package was signed into law.

Hurricane Sandy hit New Jersey's coast on Oct. 29, causing an estimated $37 billion in property damage in this state alone. It's been 66 days, Christie said, and Congress has done nothing.

Unfortunately, Christie said, the bill could not overcome the "toxic internal politics of the house majority," and for that, he blames Boehner.

Christie said politics have always been put aside when it comes to responding to a disaster. Following this disaster, with Congress caught up in the politics of what he called a "fake fiscal cliff," some leaders crossed the aisle to find a funding solution. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor both took to the floor to petition for the aid package in a moment of bipartisanship Christie said many thought they might never see.

Republican and Democrat leaders from Sandy-impacted states have been joined by Republicans and Democrats in the the Gulf States affected by Katrina in support of the aid package. Christie said he's been on the phone with Cantor, who has promised to continue working toward approving the aid package. Christie called Obama, who promised to do his best.

When Christie called Boehner last night to find out why the Sandy package had been dropped from 112th Congress's to-do list—four times, in fact—he said did not receive a call back. 

"New Jersey deserves better than the duplicity we saw on display last night," Christie said. "America deserves better."

Disasters aren't limited to Red states or Blue states, Christie said. It's a reality many in Congress, but not all, understand. Christie also noted New Jersey and New York's position as donor states, who pay far more in taxes to the federal government each year than they get in return.

Ultimately, Christie said it's up the responsible members of Congress to ensure this bill passes. 

“Our only hope is for the good people to prevail in Congress," he said.

Alethiologist January 08, 2013 at 03:24 AM
BB, OK, I see the error of my ways. Let's just conscript the people on food stamps and get them to build new homes for the zillionaires. That will keep the little people busy
Cletus January 08, 2013 at 06:59 AM
Wow, you fabricated quotes to prove your own unpleasant position, very impressive. It's also marvelous that you repeat these points tirelessly.
Alethiologist January 08, 2013 at 10:39 AM
Actually, BB states the truth. C;etus Were you named after the cartoonish slacked-jaw yokel or the former Pope?
stewart resmer January 08, 2013 at 12:38 PM
Jon Stewart rips Paul Ryan a new one over Sandy relief funds
BillBalls January 08, 2013 at 01:14 PM
Alethiologist, Here’s another little fact that is slipping out – Many homes down the shore had restrictions on finishing the basement and first floor (because of possible “flooding” you know) but many homeowners did anyway, and guess what? Yeap, now they are standing there with their hands out asking their neighbors, and the rest of us who followed the rules to help them out anyway BTW, Tucci’s $3 million dollar house was just one (he has many) of his vacation homes. Oh and I was wrong about Tucci’s $150 Million last year. Turns out he only raked in just under $25 Million, and to be perfectly honest, I have no idea if his house was hit or not, but given where it is, it seems likely As to Cletus. If he had a contract with an insurance company, be it private or federal, and his property was damaged in accordance to what would be replaced or repaired by the insurance policy, he certainly is entitled to his or her money. If he’s just looking for a handout however, he should get back what he paid in ----- NOTHING! PS. Just as a point of reference: Between 1998 and 2007, there were an average of 397,650 house fires EACH YEAR. These cause an average of 3,040 deaths and 14,960 injuries EVERY SINGLE YEAR.
Ojo Rojo January 08, 2013 at 01:36 PM
You do realize that most of the hurricane relief bill is not for homeowners, right? It is to cover the costs of beach replenishment, fixing up the transit systems, replacing bridges, sewer repairs and to pay towns and the state back for the billions they spent, flood prevention efforts by the Army Corps of Engineers, etc... Perhaps instead of just pulling facts out of thin air you might want to actually read what the Sandy relief money is going towards?
BillBalls January 08, 2013 at 02:50 PM
Ojo Rojo, You should read this http://e360.yale.edu/feature/hurricane_sandy_relief_bill_fails_to_face_coastal_realities/2606/
Ojo Rojo January 08, 2013 at 03:08 PM
You know, if you can't stand by your original post like the one you made at 9:59 PM, perhaps you should just delete it instead of posting more crap. I don't care what some professor at Yale says b/c I was responding to your 9:59 PM post, the one where you make stuff up just like in all those other posts of yours.
BillBalls January 08, 2013 at 05:26 PM
What am I making up? Go check the facts. No mortgage no requirement for flood insurance. Pork in the bill, there is no need to repeat what is there, unless you would somehow like to show me it isn’t! Now let me ask you question, please try to answer it. Given all we now know, why should any of this stuff be rebuilt? We all know there is another Sandy that will form out there and it will come and undo everything we just rebuilt. Maybe you should look back 50 years to the 100 year storm that destroyed LBI! When Floyd hit, I got flooded because of a defective weeping tile system. I bit the bullet and had it replaced. Over $10K worth of work, but at the EOD, when Irene came I stayed dry as a bone. My insurance didn’t pay, and I sure as crap didn’t run to the government and cry screw someone else and help me instead! Now look don’t get me wrong. I don’t give two rats butts if you rebuild there or not. Nor do I give a crap if you federal flood insurance pays you, after all you have a contract. Have a damn good time, it is you property and for sure your right to do as you please, just STOP reaching in my pocket to solve your problems. Make sure you include in that, if you rebuild there, there will be no more national flood insurance for you, unless you want to start paying my fire insurance to off set what I pay for your flood insurance. Get the government out of my life and force the federal government to live by the Constitution that created it!
Steve Kohlreiter January 08, 2013 at 05:38 PM
I don't understand what those against the aid are saying. Are they thinking the money will go into the pockets of homeowners? I don't think that's the case at all. I believe the money is going to local govt's and transit to repair the infrastructure, not into homeowners. I'm told that those that did not have flood insurance are completely out of luck.
Ojo Rojo January 08, 2013 at 06:44 PM
When you post a fact based post, I will check the facts. All I see out of you is hot air.
Ojo Rojo January 08, 2013 at 06:45 PM
Exactly. Little of the money is being used for homeowners.
D Ambriano January 08, 2013 at 06:47 PM
Some of them are just making an ideological point...which is laughable in the face of the fact that when THEIR districts were impacted, they were the first ones out there imploring Congress for timely aid. In fact, the esteemed senator from Mississippi, who refused to part with aid for Sandy victims, was begging for money for his constituents who continue to be affected by KATRINA, 7 years after the storm. Apparently, he didn't think he got enough money the first time.
WWRD? January 08, 2013 at 07:07 PM
its sad that this group of republicans are so awful and hypocritical its comical, unfortunatly it loses it humor when you realize they are destroying our country: Eventually, the House got around to approving $9 billion in flood funding – delaying a vote on an additional $51 million in relief until next week because, as Stewart joked, “What’s another week when you’ve been [in trouble] for months?” Given that voting for hurricane recovery is something that “Jesus, or any other human being that isn’t” a jerk would do, Stewart wondered why 67 Republicans voted against the $9 billion package. Among them was former vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan, who dismissed the bill as pork-barrel spending. Stewart wasn’t buying it. “It’s two paragraphs that add 9.7 billion to the national flood insurance program and nothing else,” he said. “There’s as much pork in here as in the mini fridge in the PETA break room. there’s no pork in this thing.” He also argued that Republicans who claimed they objected to Sandy relief for principled ideological reasons were nothing short of hypocrites. “Exhibit A” was Mississippi Rep. Steve Palazzo, who as recently as last year was asking for money for constituents hit by Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
Patriot January 09, 2013 at 07:35 AM
Truth stated. Amen Taxpayers have been sold out. Christie is another Obama....no difference.
Alethiologist January 09, 2013 at 11:38 AM
BB Thanks for the link to the Yale web site. Cogent
BillBalls January 09, 2013 at 12:17 PM
Ojo Rojo, Hummmmm – Seems these people elected not to carry flood insurance. But you tell me that can’t be. So how is that? http://goo.gl/5xXjk PS… anyone who lives in a flood zone knows dam well their standard private insurance won’t cover even minor water damage, let alone floods. These people obviously knew that, but they dropped their federal flood insurance and spent the money elsewhere. Look, I feel for them, I really do. I don’t know what I’d do if my house was destroyed and it wasn’t covered, which is why I make double, no make that triple sure it is insured against everything I can insure it from, and BTW, if that means I go without something else, so be it. Insurance is like a seat belt Ojo Rojo, you can’t put it on after the accident! Also Ojo Rojo, I am NOT responsible for your or anyone else's life.
BillBalls January 09, 2013 at 12:34 PM
Alethiologist – You are welcome. You seem like an intelligent guy who gets it. Might I suggest to you a book by Daniel Gardner, Titled “the Science of Fear: Why We Fear the Things We Shouldn't--and Put Ourselves in Greater Danger” It will help you understand people like Ojo Rojo, and why they always miss the point by miles!
B@B January 09, 2013 at 02:17 PM
Jersey: Tea Party "family values" involve women being submissive to their husbands. Part of that involves husbands being able to beat their wives. So it is actually logically consistent that they would oppose protection for battered women. Reprehensible and appalling, but consistent.
B@B January 09, 2013 at 02:28 PM
There are already term limits. It's called "elections." If voters paid attention to what their representatives actually do and studied the opposing candidates (instead of just blindly pushing the button for the incumbent of the same party as the voter), they could implement term limits through the voting booth. See also: Scott Brown in Massachusetts, Ben Quayle in Arizona, Allen West in Florida, etc.
BillBalls January 09, 2013 at 02:32 PM
Ojo Rojo, Steve and others -- Try to understand facts. No money has been approved for distribution yet; however the Federal Flood insurance fund has been given the okay to borrow the money they need to pay their contractual obligations. Also, and I don't know how I can be any clearer about this, and contrary to what you all seem to believe, money from the Federal Flood Insurance Fund goes exclusively to the homeowners who held that insurance. The cost to replace the roads, sewer and other infrastructure cost will fall on the homeowners in that area, no different than if the area were being developed for the first time. The government is not your friend! Wake Up!
B@B January 09, 2013 at 02:38 PM
Bill, you are not making sense. If we are all dependent on the government, how can they steal our money? What you're saying is that they will give it to us, but then they will take it back? Please explain in detail.
Ojo Rojo January 09, 2013 at 02:50 PM
Oh clueless Bill how much it must suck to be so angry and to spend your afternoons listening to that hillbilly heroin addict on the radio. No, the local residents will not be paying for the flood damage or cleanup costs. The US Government is picking up the tab for much of the cost of replacing the bridges, repairing the roads, fixing sewer lines, repairing mass transit systems, covering the cost of the OT of all the workers cleaning things up and running essential services & the relief efforts. They do that in every natural disaster & they funnel the money through FEMA and other government agencies. Perhaps if you focused more on facts and less on hyperbole, you might have figured that out by now. Now do us all a favor and use google to look up where the Sandy money is going and how it is going to be spent before you make a bigger fool out of yourself than you already have.
BillBalls January 09, 2013 at 03:12 PM
Ojo—I took you advice and Googled “where is sandy money going?” and I found this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6JDofc5DT-4 Also, I Googled Rebuilding of New Orleans, and I found this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reconstruction_of_New_Orleans Okay, I have to be done with you now, you really can't see the truth at all
Ojo Rojo January 09, 2013 at 04:08 PM
Clearly the man is geographically challenged if he thinks Hurricane Sandy hit New Orleans. And I just love how he posts a video clip that shows most of the money is not going to homeowners and is instead going to the Feds, much of that will then be distributed to state & local governments and thus completely disproves a part of one of his own previous posts. LMAO! Seriously, you have serious anger issues there buddy and that is the truth.
Matt M January 11, 2013 at 05:52 AM
I signed a petition to Rep. Scott Garrett (NJ-5) which says: "Congressman Garrett: Stand with your fellow New Jersey Members of Congress and vote for Hurricane Sandy relief." Go to this site to sign the petition and send a message to Rep Garrett: http://signon.org/sign/congressman-garrett-dont?source=s.em.cp&r_by=6825326
Robert Young January 24, 2013 at 12:16 PM
YOU CAN THANK THE (GOVENOR) FOR HUGGING (OSAMA OBAMA) AND MR. GOVENOR ARE YOU A REPUBLICAN OR DEMOCRAT? PLEASE MAKE UP YOUR MIND.
Robert Young January 24, 2013 at 12:22 PM
GOVENOR CHRISTIE ARE YOU A REPUBLICAN OR DEMOCRAT. YOU KISSED AND HUGGED OBAMA AS HE NEEDED NEW JERSEY FOR THE ELECTION. WAKE UP DUDE AND SMELL WHAT THE PEOPLE ARE ASKING YOU FOR AND WHAT OUR GREAT PRESIDENT PROMISED THE PEOPLE. REMEMBER THE POWER IS WITH THE PEOPLE AND YOUR REELECTION IS COMING UP.
JB January 24, 2013 at 01:11 PM
do you follow the news? the republicans are the ones holding up our money for aid not the president. im no obama fan but this ones not his fault. keeping telling it how it is chris christie
Hookerman January 24, 2013 at 01:50 PM
So Robert, you think that if Christie had snubbed Obama for political reasons, instead of doing what was in the best interest of the state, NJ voters would have been more likely to elect him to a 2nd term??? Considering that Christie’s approval ratings are through the roof in NJ right now, I would say that your POV is a little backwards.

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