Christie to Congress: Don’t let offset debate tie up disaster aid

Christies comments go against those made by several House Republicans — including Majority Leader Eric Cantor (Va.) — who argue that any Irene relief aid needs to be offset with spending reductions. New Jersey Rep. Scott Garrett is one of these Republicans, but Christie called on him and others to think of New Jersey residents first.

{mosads}I would urge all my colleagues in the New Jersey delegation — doesnt matter which party you are in — and all the rest of the folks in Congress, he said. “I dont want to hear about the fact that offsetting budget cuts have to come first, before New Jersey citizens are taken care of.

Early estimates put the damage caused by Irene at several billion dollars; many were $7 billion and higher. But the Federal Emergency Management Agency has said it has less than $1 billion available.

Cantor has taken the lead in saying Congress needs to look for spending offsets to make up this difference. Earlier in the week, he also argued that the House has already approved a bill to increase disaster relief funding by $1 billion, and called on the Senate to approve that bill when it returns next week.

Tags Eric Cantor Scott Garrett

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