Gov. Christie and President Obama Express Disappointment Over Delay in Sandy Aid

Vote on a $60.4 billion aid package delayed in Congress.

Gov. Chris Christie and President Barack Obama each released statements Wednesday expressing disappointment over the failure of the House of Representatives to vote on the $60.4 billion Hurricane Sandy Aid Package and urged Congress to make the bill a priority when it reconvenes Thursday. 

Though the U.S. Senate approved the bill Friday, Congress failed to act on the bill, at different times criticizing the allocation of some of its funding, considering splitting the aid package into separate bills, and putting it off until a deal was reached on the impending "fiscal cliff." 

Eventually, the decision was made to table it until the New Year.

Christie issued a joint statement with New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo late Wednesday morning chastising the House for its seeming indifference when it comes to the victims of Hurricane Sandy. 

"With all that New York and New Jersey and our millions of residents and small businesses have suffered and endured, this continued inaction and indifference by the House of Representatives is inexcusable," the release stated. "It has not been 66 days since Hurricane Sandy hit and 27 days since President Obama put forth a responsible aid proposal that passed with a bipartisan vote in the Senate while the House has failed to even bring it to the floor."

The statement continued: "This failure to come to the aid of Americans following a severe and devastating natural disaster is unprecedented. The fact that days continue to go by while people suffer, families are out of their homes, and men and women remain jobless and struggling during these harsh winter months is a dereliction of duty. When American citizens are in need we come to their aid. That tradition was abandoned in the House last night."

Finally: "The people of our states can no long afford to wait while politicians in Washington play games."

New Jersey suffered an estimated $37 billion in property damage according to estimates from Christie's office. The Sandy aid package would provide billions of dollars in grant funding, improvements to infrastructure, and flood mitigation. New Jersey and New York would receive the lion's share of aid from the proposed relief bill.

At a recent town hall meeting in Belmar, Christie said it was crucial that the House pass the aid package, noting that it was a necessary first step toward recovery in New Jersey. The state has several programs lined up to help distribute the aid to residents and small business owners, he said at the time, though nothing can begin until the aid comes in.

The package has drawn complaints from members of Congress, many of them Tea Party members, who argue that the aid package contains too many "pork" provisions, or funding that would be directed toward non-Sandy related projects and programs. 

Tea Party advocates, like Americans for Prosperity, have even called for Congress to reject the aid package completely, saying it would just add more debt to a nation already in a financial hole. 

The aid package, recommended by Obama, passed with bipartisan support in the Senate 62-32. A stumbling block for the bill has always been the Republican-controlled House, which has battled with the White House in recent weeks over the fiscal cliff deal. On Wednesday, Obama called for Republicans specifically to make the aid package a priority.

Like the joint statement issued by Christie and Cuomo, Obama's message focused on the delay in which it's taken to fund Sandy recovery.

"It has only been two months since Hurricane Sandy devastated communities across New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut as well as other eastern states. Our citizens are still trying to put their lives back together. Our states are still trying to rebuild vital infrastructure. And so, last month, working closely with the Governors of the affect states, I sent Congress an urgent request to support their efforts to rebuild and recover. The Senate passed this request with bipartisan support. But the House of Representatives has refused to act, even as there are families and communities who still need our help to rebuild in the months and years ahead, and who also still need immediate support with the bulk of winter still in front of us." 

Obama's statement continued: "When tragedy strikes, Americans come together to support those in need. I urge Republicans in the House of Representatives to do the same, bring this important request to a vote today, and pass it without delay for our fellow Americans."

The 113th Congress will reconvene Thursday, though a timetable for the Sandy relief bill has not been set. 

Debbie Bury January 03, 2013 at 12:35 AM
Mr Speaker your fired, stop helping other countries take care of your home and ours THE UNITED STATES
J.JONES January 03, 2013 at 12:53 AM
Obama ..The walk with Christie on the Jersey shore after Sandy helped get you re-elected ..Now get The Jersey the assistance you promised...Remember We will get you Help..Your not alone....were your words...
wharfrat January 03, 2013 at 04:20 AM
Read your Constitution. Article 1, Section 7. All revenue (tax) bills must originate in the House. This wasn't a tax bill!
Charles J. Giles January 03, 2013 at 12:18 PM
Obama agreeing with Our Great Gov. Christie, A walk together post Superstorm Sandy, very interesting!
Mischa January 03, 2013 at 03:06 PM
The entire Congressional political machine is broken and there is no way any of them will ever work together except to pass their own raises. It is clear that they lack insight or compassion. I wish they could all be fired starting with the top. As always, the people of NJ have to be strong and fend for ourselves because NJ is always treated as the national joke by DC, the Media and Hollywood. By the way, where were all of those Hollywood celebrities - Brad Pitt, Ben Affleck, Jamie Fox etc who were glad to give their time and money to Katrina, Africa and Haiti? I hope everyone thinks next time they go to support them in the movies. I'm truly sick of all of them from DC to Hollywood.
joe January 03, 2013 at 03:14 PM
The problem is not the GOP as a whole, the problem is that the entire GOP is being held hostage by the 50 or so extremists - Tea Party fools who know nothing, will listen to no one, have their idealogy and they are sticking to it whether the facts in front of them contradict them or not. The remainder of the GOP (if they want to have a Republican Party in the future) need to ignore these 50 or so extremists and move on without them. If they want a Republican Party, they best get rid of the Tea Party. Until the GOP leave the Tea Party behind, everyone will suffer for it. It is their decision - the Speaker of the House better get a back bone or he will be out. I am glad Christie is calling them on it. You have to admit, that guy does have a back bone somewhere in all that blubber.
Dominick Palermo January 03, 2013 at 04:04 PM
Joe --That is the problem----------Republican party is full of RHINOs----We need more Reps that are Constitutionalists that will get this spending under control -secure our borders and have this nation stop being the policeman and Uncle Sugar giving foriegn aid to 193 nations ----Most that hate us
Jackie Everitt January 03, 2013 at 07:17 PM
Boehner needs to be sent to the Jersey Shore, Staten Island, or Long Island for a week - then our people will see the money. How much did OHIO get the last time the Ohio River overflowed?
Rich Buzzeo January 03, 2013 at 11:11 PM
Be patient our beloved president will take care of everything as soon as he's done taking his vacastions
Rich Buzzeo January 03, 2013 at 11:16 PM
sorry thai was vacations
Penny Lane January 04, 2013 at 01:46 AM
Rich did you ever google how many vacations Bush took ? you do know Bush lied about invading Iraq
Dominick Palermo January 04, 2013 at 02:10 AM
Gee Penny How many Iraq tours have you done --- If you havent done any -----which i can pretty much guarntee ----- Maybe just maybe they didnt have weapons of mass destruction -but they did have warehouses full of conventional weapons which was in direct violation of the treaty Iraq signed in 91 --------
Penny Lane January 04, 2013 at 02:13 AM
Thats why Bush invaded Iraq. So they could put a wal mart and home depot on every sand hill in Iraq
Penny Lane January 04, 2013 at 03:16 AM
Dominick Colin Powell ever hear of him? Iraq didnt have WMDs it was a LIE http://costofwar.com/
Dominick Palermo January 04, 2013 at 12:50 PM
Penny-------- Guess it doesnt bother you that Saddam had bought millions of conventional weapons with the sale of oil (against the treaty he signed ) I with my own eyes saw 20000 sq ft warehouses filled with ak47's anti aircraft guns -- rpg's ammo ect --------the same weapons that were killing us in 2003 to the present ------ So ya think Saddam was a good guy?????????
Penny Lane January 04, 2013 at 01:34 PM
Never said Saddam was a good guy Russia China North Korea all have weapons should we invade them too? You do know the wars are unpaid for right? Last I checked there are no steel mills in Afghan where did they get the weapons? YOu do know Bin Laden family did business with Bush and Caryle group right? YOu did see what Colin Powell said right? Do you really think Iraq was going to invade the us
Johnjcpa January 04, 2013 at 01:37 PM
@time Do you just pull any numbers out of thin air or are you really so uninformed? The FICA tax holiday was intended to be temporary, the rate has been .062 for decades. If someone earns $1,000 weekly, they will see $20.00 more going to FICA tax.
Curious George January 04, 2013 at 01:48 PM
I would also suggest that people think twice before they contribute to these huge ad hoc charity programs that suddenly get produced to "raise money" for the poor victimes. We've seen it time and again that only a small fraction of those donations actually go to the victims. Most of the time it somehow gets stuck in someone's deep pockets or gets lost in the production costs of the tv shows or mysteriously disappears.
Penny Lane January 04, 2013 at 01:56 PM
Gov Chrisco lovers pork funny i dont see any of you republicon repukes crying about the bridge to nowhere or the cost of the unfunded wars
Penny Lane January 04, 2013 at 01:57 PM
Republicons cant read they just repeat what they hear on Fox News
Penny Lane January 04, 2013 at 01:59 PM
Hey you voted for the party of NO
Penny Lane January 04, 2013 at 02:04 PM
@Johncpa the republicon rubes are not going to like the truth they have a problem with the truth and fact John could you inform the dolts what the tax rates were under St Ronnie? Perhaps you can explain to them the wars are not paid nor is medicare part d Maybe you can get an answer out of them as to how the Bush wars will be paid for?
Dominick Palermo January 04, 2013 at 02:09 PM
Okay Penny 1 by 1----russia and North korea did not sign a treaty affter Desert Storm not to buy weapons with oil sales -----2 yes i did 3.Ak47s are a russian weapon ... Bib ladin was our friend -till he screwed us 4. Colin Powell Good General - but is outa the loop today ...%. Nope Iraq wasnt going to invade us ---But he did violate the trety they signed by shooting and hitting in some cases our aircraft in the the fly zone ------
Dominick Palermo January 04, 2013 at 02:11 PM
Penny -------- Obama is no different than Bush --- Still 2 wars --- We are still in Afgan and will be forever We are still in Iraq -------Yes 3000 troops still in Iraq -----------still have Gitmo -- Still both are unfunded ------ and we are 16 trillion in debt ------ So wheres the CHANGE???????
Jim January 04, 2013 at 02:13 PM
Funny that TimeForChange is quoting a figure of 13 billion when the reports I have seen indicate only millions in pork. The one cite is not from a newspaper or reputable news gathering site but just some minor blog. The final version of the bill that was not voted on had most of the pork removed. Also the pork was loaded on pretty equally by scummy congressman from both parties. so don't worry about who was at fault, it was Dems & Repubs. But it was the Repubs that prevented the vote.
Penny Lane January 04, 2013 at 02:39 PM
Oh Dominick lost jobs under Bush gaining jobs under Obama how about a nice trip to Iran for you? colin powell said Bush lied 16 trillion in debt for 2 unfunded wars lost revenue from the bush tax cuts that didnt create jobs and medicare part d plus interest funny how you right wing loons praise St Ronnie but wont admit to the tax rates
brokeninbayville January 04, 2013 at 02:57 PM
OK. I am offically bored with your back and forth on the wars. You are WAY off track of the original conversation about Sandy Relief. As a victim of Sandy, I can understand why the vote was put off. The Reps are trying to stick to their promise of unnecessary taxation. The bill is full of New York pork that we will be paying for. That is the conversation......
Dominick Palermo January 04, 2013 at 05:44 PM
Broken--------i agree ------ If we stopped all foriegn aid this yr ---------- we could fund Sandy money -- with real dollars not borrowed or printed dollars --
Dominick Palermo January 06, 2013 at 03:34 PM
Penny---still harping on "unfunded" wars --------are they funded now under Obama for the last 4 yrs ------ MMMMMM why is Obama commmiting us to even more time in Afgan - He now says some troops will be there past 2014 ------ 10-20 k-------mmmmmmmmmmmm and the 3-5 thousand still in Iraq ------- Gee Obama ----- where's the fundingg????????????
Rich Buzzeo January 06, 2013 at 05:27 PM
Dom stop wasting your breath its useless to try to reason with a babbling idiot


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