Christie, other governors urge Congress to put disaster relief above politics

TRENTON – Four governors, including Gov. Christie, exhorted Congress today to help victims of the recent severe hurricane and flooding.

Gov. Chris Christie, along with Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, and North Carolina Gov. Bev Perdue, issued a joint statement urging Congress to put aside politics on disaster assistance.

The House of Representatives voted down a spending bill 230-195 on Wednesday that would have provided $3.7 billion in disaster relief funds. The no votes came from both parties.

“Our states have been hit hard by Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee. While the flood waters have receded and the storms are passed, the damage to communities, businesses and infrastructure remains significant,” the governors’ joint statement reads.

“Billions of dollars in loss and destruction pose a serious threat not only to local and regional economies, but to the nation’s economic recovery.

“Our states’ governments and our citizens are doing their part to restore and rebuild. The federal government must also do its part,” the statement goes on.

“Federal assistance for the victims of storms and floods should be beyond politics. Within 10 days of Hurricane Katrina, Congress passed and the president signed over $60 billion in aid for the Gulf Coast. It’s been 28 days since Irene and Lee started battering our states. We urge this Congress to move swiftly to ensure that disaster aid through FEMA and other federal programs is sufficient to start rebuilding now.”

Some conservative lawmakers have sought to tie any disaster relief to budget cuts. Christie said in August as the state was embroiled in the aftermath of the hurricane that now was not the time for such partisan wrangling.

  Christie, other governors urge Congress to put disaster relief above politics