(YouTube: Buzz sourse)
THE US HOUSE of Representatives will vote tomorrow on approving $9 billion in federal aid for the states of New York and New Jersey – ahead of a second vote in two weeks on a further $51 billion – after a stinging rebuke from New Jersey governor Chris Christie.
Christie, himself a Republican who is tipped for a potential run for the Presidency in 2016, held a press conference last night in which he furiously attacked the Republican-controlled House and its Speaker, John Boehner, for failing to schedule a vote on a Bill to provide aid following Superstorm Sandy.
The legislation, which had already been passed by the Senate with a comfortable majority, was due to be voted on earlier this week – but the Bill fell victim to the ongoing discussions on avoiding the Fiscal Cliff.
This prompted Boehner to postpone the vote – only to face major opposition from his party’s congressmen from the states most affected by the storm.
The delay brought a furious response from Christie, who condemned the “toxic internal politics” of his party’s own members within the House.
“This is not a Republican or Democratic issue. National disasters happen in red states and blue states, in states with Democratic governors and Republican governors,” he said. (His full speech can be viewed here.)
We respond to innocent victims of national disasters not as Democrats or Republicans, but as Americans. Or, at least, we did until last night.
The new House of Representatives – elected in November – is being sworn in today, meaning the vote on the Sandy relief will be one of its first acts.
Because the House will have dissolved and reformed, however, the Senate will have to vote on the Bill for a second time. It is set to do so next Monday.