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New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has some strong words for House Republicans for their refusal to pass that hurricane Sandy relief package.
Christie said he had been “given assurances by everyone” as late as Tuesday night that the package would be done. “All I can tell you is this: It was the speaker’s decision,” Christie said. “His alone.”
Christie said he was “given no explanation” when House Majority Leader Eric Cantor called him after 11 P.M. on Tuesday and told him the vote was pulled by Boehner.
“I called the speaker four times last night after 11:20 and he did not take my calls,” Christie said.
Should he be blaming Republicans? Tough question, and there is no specific answer no matter what you believe.
On one hand, you’ve got the governor of a state pleading for federal assistance to help with Hurricane Sandy’s destruction, and he’s blaming one party. He doesn’t mention anything about the other party, and it’s not like Democrats were jumping up and down waving their hands trying to get this bill passed either. They should absolutely not be immune from criticism. After all, they do control the Senate and the White House, and they didn’t make it easy for Republicans to find barely any level of compromise in the fiscal cliff negotiations.
But on the other, you’ve got Speaker Boehner giving his word to Governor Christie and then not following through on it. It has been over two months since the storm ran a figurative train over New Jersey and Congress still hasn’t passed an aid package for a state headed by a prominent Republican. Christie cares about politics, and he cares about the GOP, but the guy is more of a human than a politician. It’s not that hard to pass a bill that would provide needed federal assistance to an area destroyed by a hurricane, but once again, political posturing dominated reason and the GOP only passed a less-than-stellar fiscal cliff avoidance bill. Furthermore, if the Speaker of the House and one of the ‘leaders’ of the GOP can’t keep his word to another top Republican, what does that say about the party itself?
This is why people are so fed up with politics in this country – Congress can’t get anything done, and when they do get something done, it comes out stinking like a fiscal cliff deal that actually raises the deficit over the next ten years. Oh, wait …that really happened.
The question of whether or not Christie should solely blame Republicans will not be answered and it will be debated on blog after blog and talk show after talk show, but the gist of what the NJ governor said is correct. The party is in shambles, they couldn’t manage to negotiate a fiscal cliff deal that lowered the deficit, and they couldn’t keep their word with Governor Christie.
2016 is right around the corner, and as National Journal’s Ron Fournier put it, the election is “ripe for the emergence of a game-changing political leader who either dramatically reforms one of the existing parties or mounts an independent bid.”
Not long after Christie’s remarks, Boehner said he would bring two Sandy aid packages to the floor: A $9 billion package this Friday and a $51 billion package when Congress returns January 15th. The $9 billion vote will be on flood insurance only.