New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) lit into House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and House Republicans Wednesday for not holding a vote on a Hurricane Sandy relief bill. “There is only one group to blame for the continued suffering of these innocent victims: the House majority and their speaker, John Boehner,” he said. “This is not a Republican or Democratic issue. Natural disasters happen in red states and blue states and states with Democratic governors and Republican governors. We respond to innocent victims of natural disasters, not as Republicans or Democrats, but as Americans. Or at least we did until last night. Last night, politics was placed before oaths to serve our citizens. For me, it was disappointing and disgusting to watch.” House Republicans declined to schedule a vote for Sandy aid Tuesday night, after voting to pass a fiscal cliff deal. If the House does not pass a disaster relief bill before noon on Thursday, when the new session of Congress begins, lawmakers will have to start over. “Last night the House of Representatives failed that most basic test of public service, and they did so with callous indifference to the suffering of the people of my state,” said Christie. “Sixty-six days and counting, shame on you. Shame on Congress. Despite my anger and disappointment, my hope is that the good people in Congress — and there are good people in Congress — will prevail upon their colleagues to finally, finally put aside the politics and help our people now.” The Senate has approved a $60.4 billion aid package to help New York and New Jersey recover from the storm, while the House Appropriations Committee has approved a $27 billion measure. Christie said at the conference that he would not accept the smaller package. Christie said he was not given an explanation as to why the vote did not take place Tuesday. He added that House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) placed a call to him at 11:20 p.m. to inform him that the speaker had decided not to schedule one. Christie then called Boehner four times, and Boehner did not call him back.
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