NEWARK — Some of the Texas lawmakers seeking federal funds after Hurricane Harvey are hypocrites, Gov. Chris Christie said Monday, noting that some of those same lawmakers voted against sending relief to New Jersey and New York after Superstorm Sandy in 2012.
But when they go low, we go high, the governor said.
“The congressional members in Texas are hypocrites and I said back in 2012 that they would be proven to be hypocrites, it was just a matter of time,” Christie told reporters on Monday following an unrelated event. “When you are a state that has any kind of coastal exposure like Texas does to the Gulf, you are going to wind up having some type of disaster that is going to befall the people of your state, then all of a sudden you are not going to want a conversation of all the philosophical niceties because people are suffering and dying and you want to minimize that as much as you can.”
U.S. Sens. John Cornyn and Ted Cruz (both R-Texas) were two of 36 congressional Republicans who voted against a supplemental aid bill to help devastated areas after Sandy. The relief package passed anyway.
Harvey made landfall in Texas over the weekend and catastrophically flooded the Houston area. Cruz said that his focus was on search and rescue efforts rather than “political sniping.” He defended his rejection of the supplemental Sandy bill due to issues unrelated to aid.
“I would have eagerly supported funding for that but I didn’t think it was appropriate to engage in pork-barrel spending where two-thirds of that bill was unrelated spending that had nothing to do with Sandy and was simply politicians wasting money,” Cruz told CNBC on Monday.
Christie said that he wants members of New Jersey’s congressional delegation to “rise above” any post-Sandy grudges and vote to send relief aid to Texas as quickly as possible.
“Even though I’m sure there is going to be some temptation by New Jersey House members in particular to drag their feet a little bit based on what these folks in Texas did to us during Sandy, I am going to be urging all our members to rise above that and provide the aid as quickly as possible,” Christie said.
Christie also said that New Jersey will send aid to the region and that he has been in contact with Texas Gov. Greg Abbott.
“Our folks are, unfortunately, extremely well trained at both the National Guard level and the state police level at responding to a disaster like this and so our office has been in touch on a regular basis with Governor Abbott and his office and so we are going to be looking to help in any way we possibly can,” Christie said. “I also know that when you are going through this just knowing people are there to help is really important.”