TRENTON – Gov. Chris Christie blasted members of his own political party this afternoon after House Republicans opted to delay a vote on a $60 billion package of recovery aid for those affected by Superstorm Sandy.
“There’s only one group to blame for the continued suffering of these innocent victims: The House majority and their speaker, John Boehner,” said Christie at an afternoon press conference.
The governor pointed out that in other recent disasters, aid bills were signed into law within 10 to 31 days. New Jersey, New York and Connecticut have already been waiting 66 days and the process of passing an aid bill will have to start over at the beginning when the new Congress begins its session tomorrow afternoon.
New Jersey’s Congressional representatives of both parties were critical of Boehner’s decision not to schedule a vote on the aid bill before the current session of Congress ends.
“How is it possible that this has become a political issue?” Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ-6) said from the House floor this morning. “I have never seen anything like it.”
“This is not about people in Congress – this is about constituents whose lives are ruined,” said Rep. Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ-2).
House Republicans proposed a smaller, $27 billion aid package instead of the $60 billion proposal passed by the Senate.
“Never before has this country walked away from its obligation to help Americans in the wake of a natural disaster, but today, the House Republican leadership told New Jersey and New York to drop dead,” said U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) earlier today. “In the few hours remaining in the 112th Congress, I call upon House Republicans to recognize their humanity over their partisanship. Help the thousands of Americans in our area who will be forced to brave the cold of winter without homes, their businesses, their jobs, right now.”