Christie: 'Disgusting To Watch' House Ignore Sandy Relief Bill

Christie: 'Disgusting To Watch' House Ignore Sandy Relief Bill

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TRENTON, N.J. -

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie blasted House Republican leadership Wednesday afternoon for failing to call for a vote on relief funds for states affected by Hurricane Sandy.

"There's only one group to blame for the continued suffering of these innocent victims – the House majority and their Speaker John Boehner," Christie said during an afternoon news conference in Trenton.

After wrapping up an eleven-hour debate on the "fiscal cliff" Tuesday night, the House leadership pulled expected votes on $60 billion worth of disaster assistance for states hit hardest by Sandy.

Members from both parties blasted the decision before adjournment and then again Wednesday, when the House was briefly back in session.

The Senate already passed the measure. Action is needed in the House before newly-elected members are sworn in Thursday at noon, or the legislative process has to start all over again.

Christie's first response came by way of a joint statement with New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Wednesday.

Then, at his news conference, Christie ran down a list of past natural disasters and how long it took Congress to act after them.

For Sandy victims, "It's been 66 days, and the wait continues," Christie said.

The governor went on to say that disasters happen in red states and blue states, regardless of what party the governor is from, and government responds to innocent victims of these incidents not as Democrats or Republicans but "as Americans."

"Or, at least we did until last night," Christie said. "Last night, politics was placed before our oaths to serve our citizens. For me, it was disappointing and disgusting to watch."

Christie said he has worked as hard as he can to live up to his oath as an elected official and put the people ahead of petty, personal politics.

"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," he said.

Noting that conservative Congressman Chris Smith of New Jersey and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi both spoke Tuesday night in support of the aid package.

And he said both New York and New Jersey used the same international firm to assess and quantify the damage to their states, providing plenty of documentation in support of the estimates.

"It overcame all of the factual challenges. It just could not overcome the toxic internal politics of the House majority," Christie said.

He went on to say, "Americans are tired of the palace intrigue and political partisanship of this Congress, which places one-upsmanship ahead of the lives of the citizens who sent these people to Washington, D.C., in the first place. New Jerseyans and New Yorkers are tired of being treated like second-class citizens."

"…America deserves better than just another example of a government that has forgotten who they are there to serve and why. Sixty-six days and counting. Shame on you. Shame on Congress."

The GOP governor said he's hopeful that "the good people in Congress" will prevail upon their colleagues "to finally, finally put aside the politics and help our people now."

During questions from the press, Christie went on to say that he placed calls to Boehner's office Tuesday night, but the speaker did not take his calls.

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