New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New Jersey counterpart Chris Christie reacted angrily Wednesday to House Speaker John Boehner's decision to delay a vote on billions of dollars to help their states recover from Hurricane Sandy.
"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," Cuomo and Christie said in a joint statement.
"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," they said.
Boehner (R-Ohio) decided Tuesday to postpone the vote on Sandy recovery aid as the House was embroiled in debate on the deal to avert the so-called fiscal cliff.
"Natural disasters happen in red states and blue states and states with Democratic governors and Republican governors," a visibly irritated Christie said Wednesday at a press conference.
"We respond to innocent victims of natural disasters, not as Republicans or Democrats, but as Americans," New Jersey's GOP governor said.
New York and New Jersey bore the brunt of the impact of Sandy, which left more than 120 people dead and damaged tens of thousands of homes.
The Obama administration proposed $61 billion in storm relief.
In the wake of blasts from Christie and several GOP Congress members from New York, Boehner indicated late Wednesday that he would schedule for Friday a vote on a $10 billion extension to the soon-to-expire federal flood insurance program.
The House will vote on the $51 billion balance of the aid package in mid-January, the speaker said. EFE