On Sandy anniversary, Christie blames Congress for recovery delay

On the anniversary of Superstorm Sandy, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) admonished Congress for taking so long to approve funding to help states hit by the storm. 

Christie said money did not begin flowing into the state until May because Congress failed to pass a funding bill until the end of January. 

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“Let’s start off with the fact that it took 92 days for the Congress to act on aid for Sandy victims — that’s unprecedented,” Christie said on CBS’s “This Morning.” “It was 10 days for Katrina, and 17 days for Gustav.” 

“And you remember me being pretty exercised about it at the time because I knew what that would do to add time at the end.”

In January, Congress passed the more than $60 billion in aid that President Obama requested, including nearly $10 billion for the National Flood Insurance Program. 

Christie said the state has made tremendous progress, but there is still a lot to do. He has described the cleanup effort as an 18-to-24 month process. 

Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), who represents another state damaged by the storm, also noted Congress’s delay. He also said the federal government is trying to correct past mistakes in disaster aid, specifically from Hurricane Katrina. He said the first year after Sandy was focused on recovery and the second would be based on rebuilding.  

“We tried to learn from Katrina’s mistakes, and I think you are going to find in this second year that homeowners will be made whole,” he said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”

In a separate interview with “Good Morning America,” Christie said he does not have a crystal ball when asked if he would serve a full term as governor if reelected this year. He is seen as a likely presidential candidate in 2016. 

“I’m committed to being the best governor New Jersey can have for as long as I can possibly do it,” Christie said. “But, you know, George, neither one of us have a crystal ball and know what’s going to happen in the future.”