The governors of New York and New Jersey are publicly venting outrage over a decision by the Republican-controlled House of Representatives to adjourn on Tuesday night without voting on a critical Hurricane Sandy relief bill.
This afternoon, New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, a Republican, issued a joint statement:
"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. 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 bi-partisan 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 [sic] afford to wait while politicians in Washington play games."
Speaking at a press conference earlier today, Christie was even more forthright in his disgust and outrage with the House's failure to pass the Sandy relief bill; Business Insider described Christie's speech as "like something out of a movie."
In the video clip below, from today's press conference, Christie drops a neutron bomb of verbiage on the House's Republican leadership. A transcript:
"There's only one group to blame for the continued suffering of these innocent victims: The House majority, and their speaker, John Boehner.
This is not a Republican or a Democratic issue. Natural disasters happen in red states and blue states, in 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 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. New York deserves better than the selfishness we saw displayed last night. New Jersey deserves better than the duplicity we saw displayed last night. America deserves better than just another example of a government that has forgotten who they are there to serve and why.
Sixty-six days and counting. Shame on you. Shame on Congress. It's absolutely disgraceful. And I have to tell you -- this used to be something that was not political. You know, disaster relief was something that you didn't play games with.
But now, in this current atmosphere, everything is the subject of one-upmanship, everything is a possibility, a potential piece of bait, for the political game. It is why the American people hate Congress. It's why they hate them.
You know, those guys should spend a little more time reading the information we send them and a little less time reading the political talking points put together by their staff. And they know who they are."