Sea Bright Mayor Dina Long with Governor Chris Christie in Sea Bright on November 9. Both have joined in on bipartisan condemnation of inaction by the GOP-controlled House. (Click to enlarge)
State and local officials, including Republicans, are expressing outrage Wednesday over Congressional inaction, attributed to the GOP majority, on a $60.4 billion aid package for communities devastated by Hurricane Sandy.
From the Star-Ledger’s NJ.com:
Gov. Chris Christie ripped into House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) today for delaying a vote on billions in federal aid for recovery from Hurricane Sandy.
Theres only one group to blame for the continued suffering of these innocent victims: The House majority and their speaker, John Boehner, said Christie at a press conference this afternoon.
Christie, who gave the keynote address at the Republican National Convention last summer, said Congress traditionally puts politics aside for disaster relief but that House Republican leadership had put politics before our oaths to serve our citizens.
“To me it just deplorable,” Congressman Frank Pallone tells Speaker John Boehner Wednesday, urging him: “Come to Sea Bright, New Jersey.” (Click to enlarge)
For me it was disappointing and disgusting to watch, said Christie, who praised New Jerseys own House delegation.
Last night the House of Representatives failed that most basic test of public service and they did so with callous indifference to the suffering of the people of my state.
By contrast, Christie said President Obama called him today to assure me of his continued support.
Sea Bright Mayor Dina Long, on Twitter:
Sooo disappointed House didn’t pass #sandy recovery $.
Post Katrina, Congress gave billions in Community Development Block Grants. Now we need CDBG to rebuild, and…Feels like a double standard.
She also retweeted this, originally by someone named Scott:
Well #NJ & #NY the #Government screwed us all again by not even taking the time 2 vote on the #Sandy relief Bill but gave themselves raises.
State 12th-district Assemblyman Declan OScanlon, of Little Silver, in a prepared statement:
This is an utter disgrace. Congress inaction represents a complete and total breakdown of government based in DC. This isnt about pointing fingers; this is about helping folks who, in the course of one day, lost everything. I can honestly say that this type of inaction and stonewalling would never happen here in New Jersey. Sure we are a state full of passion and diverse ideas, but when our backs are against the wall, we come together and do what is right. Ive seen us put party loyalties aside and focus on the needs of our constituents countless times. The folks supposedly representing us in Washington could learn a valuable lesson from lawmakers in New Jersey. This isnt about politics, its about peoples lives. The Speaker needs to call Congress back into the building to vote on this critically important aid package before they adjourn on Thursday. The only thing standing in the way right now is the people supposedly chosen to protect our interests.
Congressman Frank Pallone, Sixth District Democrat in the House:
I am outraged that at a time when we need it the most, Speaker Boehner could dismiss the need for the same kind of relief has been granted to other regions hit by similar disasters, Pallone said. This bill has already passed in the U.S. Senate and must be brought up for a vote before the end of this Congress, now.
More from Christie, in the New York Times:
Gov. Chris Christie, a New Jersey Republican, furiously accused the Congressional leadership of his own party of duplicity and selfishness, and called the decision not to hold a vote on the storm-relief measure irresponsible. He said the legislation had fallen victim to palace intrigue, and its why the American people hate Congress.
And in the Asbury Park Press:
Saying Republican leaders in the House treated New Jerseyans suffering in the aftermath of superstorm Sandy like pawns on a chessboard, Gov. Chris Christie today lashed out at House Speaker John Boehner and others for failing to pass a $60 billion post-Sandy aid bill.
New Jerseys citizenry was betrayed by a duplicitous Congress, Christie said during an afternoon press conference held specifically to blast the Houses inaction on Sandy aid.
No one has given him a substantive, credible reason for the failure to vote on the bill, Christie said, singling out Boehner for the most pointed criticism.
I think what happened last night was absolutely uncalled for, Christie said.
The governor said he had received assurances as late as 9 p.m. Tuesday that the bill would be voted on, and he had confidence that it would pass.
The inaction enraged him.
Do your job, and come through for the people of this country, Christie said.