Christie, Cuomo blast 'inexcusable' delay

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) on Wednesday denounced GOP leaders in the House for not holding a vote on Hurricane Sandy aid.

The two governors said Speaker John Boehner’s (R-Ohio) decision to push a vote on the $60.4 billion relief package into the next Congress was “inexcusable” and a “dereliction of duty.”

"With all that New York and New Jersey and our millions of residents and small businesses have suffered and endured, this continued inaction and indifference by the House of Representatives is inexcusable," the two governors said in a joint statement.

Christie and Cuomo noted that more than two months have passed since Sandy devastated parts of the coastline.

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"It has now been 66 days since Hurricane Sandy hit and 27 days since President Obama put forth a responsible aid proposal that passed with a bipartisan vote in the Senate while the House has failed to even bring it to the floor. This failure to come to the aid of Americans following a severe and devastating natural disaster is unprecedented.

"The fact that days continue to go by while people suffer, families are out of their homes, and men and women remain jobless and struggling during these harsh winter months is a dereliction of duty. When American citizens are in need we come to their aid. That tradition was abandoned in the House last night.

"The people of our states can no long afford to wait while politicians in Washington play games."

At a press conference Wednesday afternoon, Christie laid the blame for the failure to hold a vote directly with Boehner.

"There is only one group to blame for the continued suffering of these innocent victims: the House majority and their speaker, John Boehner," said Christie.

The New Jersey governor said he tried to reach out to Boehner after learning that the House would not hold a vote. "I called the Speaker four times last night and he did not take my calls," he added.


Boehner is under growing pressure from House members to reverse course and hold a vote on Sandy relief before the 112th Congress expires on Thursday. He will meet on Wednesday afternoon with Republican members of the New York and New Jersey delegations, according to a GOP aide.

This story was last updated at 2:37 p.m.