STAFFORD TOWNSHIP – Gov. Chris Christie thanked Republican Speaker John Boehner and New Jersey’s congressional delegation today for getting the Superstorm Sandy aid relief passed through Congress Tuesday night.
The governor told a friendly crowd at his 100th town hall that he was not pleased with how long it took House lawmakers to post the legislation for a vote, however he quickly thanked the House speaker and others for acting on tens of billions in relief and delivered the message: It’s better late than never.
“You may have heard a couple weeks ago that I got a little upset about what was going on in Washington, D.C.,” said Christie, adding it was really a lack of action that caused him to lash out against the speaker.
“They’ve now done it,” he said. “… I think I speak for all New Jerseyans when I say thank you.”
The governor also thanked the state’s congressional delegation for working together, joking it’s not often people see the Garden State’s House lawmakers on the same page.
Christie defended his initial reaction to fellow Republican Boehner’s decision not to post the Sandy relief for a vote.
“My job is to stand up for you,” he said. “I just needed to make them understand a little bit better that we’re serious here.”
Once the Senate votes on the package and the president signs the legislation – which could happen sometime next week – aid could start coming to the state within weeks, Christie said.
“I’ll keep you up-to-date on how we’re making progress,” he said, adding there’s not enough time between now and July 4th to have the shore looking like it did in the summer of 2012, but he said the goal is to make the shore “functional.”
“I think everybody understands that,” he said. “I want to do this the right way. … We want to rebuild this thing the right way.”