Gov. Chris Christie unleashes fury at Boehner, calls house “toxic”
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) condemned House Republicans Wednesday afternoon for failing to pass a $60 billion package of funding for Hurricane Sandy relief. In the strongest terms, he accused House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) of letting “toxic internal politics” impede necessary storm relief.
“There’s only one group to blame for the continued suffering of these victims: the House majority and their speaker,” Christie said. “It was disappointing and disgusting to watch.”
Christie told reporters that he has spoken to both Boehner and President Obama today. But he said he couldn’t rely on any assurances from Boehner or his fellow House leaders after he was told repeatedly over the weekend and early in the week that the vote was secure.
Shortly after Christie made the remarks, House Republicans decided to vote on the measure on Friday.
Earlier, Obama called on the House to immediately pass the aid package.
It has been 66 days since Sandy slammed into the coast of New Jersey and New York. Still there are people living in shelters and without electricity. Congress has to vote for billions in federal aid to give these people relief.
Governor Christie told the nation that he was promised the vote for federal aid would happen last night. It did not. In a 40 minute speech in New Jersey, Christie pounded Congress about as badly as Sandy crashed against the New Jersey shoreline. According to Politico.com:
It was extraordinary spectacle: A popular national figure for the Republican Party publicly castigating the House Republican leader for showing “callous indifference” to the Northeast and being consumed with “palace intrigue.”
Christie singled out House Majority Leader Eric Cantor for praise, saying the Virginia Republican tried to be helpful. But the governor said he had called Boehner repeatedly Tuesday night without getting an answer after the bill was abruptly pulled.
Christie said he finally spoke to Boehner Wednesday morning, at which time the speaker told him he was planning to meet with the New Jersey and New York Republican delegations in the afternoon. But without directly commenting on his conversation with the speaker, Christie said he had yet to hear a “substantive credible” reason for not taking up the bill.
“We were given assurances by everyone that this was going to be done. We got continued assurances as late as [Tuesday] night at 9 o’clock,” Christie said. “All I can tell you is this was the speaker’s decision, his alone.”
“I have to tell you I think that Eric was working as hard as he could to get this done,” the governor said. “You see a lot of palace intrigue down there and unfortunately folks have put politics ahead of their responsibilities.”
Christie said he was not offered an explanation for the move.
I am not given to nice talk about Eric Canter so you know this had to be pretty deserved. I have already written my new congressman and Speaker Boehner strongly urging them to make this happen. The people of New York and New Jersey deserve better than this. The other northern coast states were hit pretty hard also. It is my understanding that they will also be in the federal aid package.
What was Boehner’s problem? Was he afraid of the Tea Party? Was he told not to bring up the Sandy Federal aid package if he wanted to pass the Cliff bill? What low-life is putting the kibosh on Sandy Aid?
It is situations like aid to Sandy victims that should serve as a reminder that we are a huge country with many different strengths an weaknesses. The tea party mantra of stop spending is just silly. Is someone seriously suggesting that there should be no relief or aid for victims of natural disasters? How about man-made disasters? Bumper sticker solutions to complex problems hurt our economy and our country. No one likes the debt. I expect it was equally hated after WWII when we owed billions. (and still do) It is part of life. We are Americans. If the time comes to chip in more, then we will. Now we have to get the economy back on track. I think we can do it without blaming Bush or Obama. We have to accept when it happened and we have to accept that we had to spend a boat load of money to prop things up. The fife and drum corp is just going to have to straighten their three corner hats and play on for a while. The big boys and girls are in charge now.
Give Christie and Cuomo their disaster relief and do it quickly.