Christie: Boehner ignored multiple phone calls on Sandy relief funds

By Stephen C. Webster
Wednesday, January 2, 2013 14:51 EDT
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New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) said Wednesday that House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) ignored multiple calls on Tuesday, even as the governor was hoping to convey the urgency of a now-delayed vote on funding for Hurricane Sandy relief efforts.

“Last night, the House Majority failed most the basic test of leadership and they did so with callous disregard to the people of my state,” Christie said at a news conference on Wednesday. “It was disappointing and disgusting to watch.”

Although he avoided saying directly that Republicans in Congress were to blame for the House’s failure to vote on Sandy relief funds, Christie added: “Last night, my party was responsible.”

After four attempts to call Boehner and ask why the vote was being delayed, Christie said he heard nothing back until Wednesday morning. “I won’t get into my conversation with [Boehner],” he said. “But I will tell you, there is no reason to believe anything the tell me.”

“It has now been 66 days since Hurricane Sandy hit and 27 days since President Obama put forth a responsible aid proposal that passed with a bipartisan vote in the Senate while the House has failed to even bring it to the floor,” Christie added during the press conference. “This failure to come to the aid of Americans following a severe and devastating natural disaster is unprecedented.”

“The fact that days continue to go by while people suffer, families are out of their homes, and men and women remain jobless and struggling during these harsh winter months is a dereliction of duty,” he continued. “When American citizens are in need we come to their aid. That tradition was abandoned in the House last night.”

Christie isn’t the only east coast Republican left fuming by Tuesday night’s events in the House of Representatives. Rep. Peter King (R-NY) similarly castigated Boehner for canceling the vote without explanation, and even threatened to quit the Republican Party over the incident.

President Barack Obama also said Wednesday that he urges the House to vote on Hurricane Sandy relief funds immediately, but Boehner’s aides have said that won’t happen until after new members of Congress are sworn in later this month.

This video was aired on Wednesday, January 2, 2012.

Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
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