New Jersey Governor Chris Christie blamed House Speaker John Boehner for delaying a vote on federal disaster aid for the disastrous storm, calling the inaction âdisappointing and disgusting.â
“There is only one group to blame for the continued suffering of these innocent victims: the House majority and their speaker, John Boehner,” he said in a press conference on Wednesday.
“This is not a Republican or Democratic issue. Natural disasters happen in red states and blue states and states with Democratic governors and Republican governors.â
He went on, adding: âWe respond to innocent victims of natural disasters, not as Republicans or Democrats, but as Americans. Or at least we did until last night. Last night, politics was placed before oaths to serve our citizens. For me, it was disappointing and disgusting to watch.”
House RepublicansÂ put off a deal considering hurricane Sandy aid Tuesday night, after voting to pass a highly anticipated fiscal cliff deal.
If the House does not pass a disaster relief bill before noon on Thursday, when the new session of Congress begins, lawmakers will have to start over, explains The Huffington Post.
“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,” told Christie a news conference in Trenton, New Jersey.
“Sixty-six days and counting — shame on you. Shame on Congress. Despite my anger and disappointment, my hope is that the good people in Congress – and there are good people in Congress – will prevail upon their colleagues to finally, finally put aside the politics and help our people now.”
Failure to decide on the aid was widely lit into lawmakers from affected states. Republican Representative Peter King of New York told reporters that it was a âknife in the back.â
Meanwhile, Michael Steel, a spokesman for Boehner, said in an email that âThe Speaker is committed to getting this bill passed this month.â
Boehnerâs spokesperson revealed that the speaker was scheduled to meet on Wednesday afternoon with Republican lawmakers from New York and New Jersey, the states which had been severely damaged in the hurricane.
The storm hit the New York and New Jersey coastlines with lesser damage to Delaware and Maryland. The Senate has recently approved a full aid package.
Republicans complained that U.S. House Speaker pulled the bill while the speakerâs top lieutenant, House Republican Leader Eric Cantor, had tried to get action on it, Forward reports.
âWeâd done everything weâd been asked to do and then, the knife in the back. Thatâs all it is,â King, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, said in an interview.
He continued, warning that failure to pass the relief bill could damage Republican Party fundraising in New Jersey and New York.
âThis should not be a Republican or Democratic issue. But if these guys want to use New York and New Jersey as cash cows for themselves, then they should realize those days could be over,â he said.