Sandy relief vote still sore subject in NJ

January 3, 2013 3:59:01 PM PST
Emotions are still raw, especially in Trenton, because of the failure of the House of Representatives to vote on a relief package for victims of Hurricane Sandy.

"We sent them there to do the work for us, not to sit down there and play with each other," said Governor Chris Christie.

New Jersey Chris Christie voiced his frustrations again, this time blasting Congress, especially House Republicans for scrapping a house vote on President Obama's $60 billion aid package for Superstorm Sandy victims in New Jersey and New York.

It has been 67 days since Sandy ripped the mid-Atlantic coast.

"We're hurting badly and that's why we are so dependent on the tourism season. It is a $40 billion industry for us, and it is driven by the Jersey Shore in New Jersey, and if we don't get this supplemental money to get the Army Corp to get us up and running, we're going to miss our summer season, which is going to add a disaster onto a disaster," said Rep. Frank Lobiando.

Bowing to immense pressure from the Congressman, Gov. Christie and others, House Speaker Boehner has relented, saying he was hesitant to allow a vote so soon on another big spending plan.

The newly re-elected speaker has scheduled a vote for Friday on $9 billion for the national flood insurance program and another vote in mid-January that will help pay for claims by home and business owners with coverage.

The votes on January 15th will also be for $18-billion in immediate assistance and $33-billion for longer term projects, including protection from future storms.

$5.5 billion will go to rebuild mass transit and nearly $4 billion will go towards repairing hospitals, utilities and small businesses.

Gov. Christie says the payout from Washington for Sandy relief is way past due.

"It is unprecedented; it is outrageous," said Gov. Christie. "This is what happens when they are all so caught up in their own politics of this fake fiscal cliff. That's why people hate Washington, D.C. Last night, it was my party responsible."

"I obviously feel better today, now that we've secured a commitment, but it was disregarding all of the pain and suffering that so many people were going through, and I was very angry," said Rep. Lobiando.