Christie Slams House for Delaying Sandy Aid Due to ‘Palace Intrigue’

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

President Barack Obama and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie talk with people who are recovering from Hurricane Sandy, while surveying storm damage in Brigantine, N.J., on Oct. 31, 2012.

Memo from Chris Christie to Congress: The American people hate you.

New Jersey’s outspoken governor was fired up today after House Speaker John Boehner delayed a vote on Hurricane Sandy relief funding.

“Disaster relief was something you didn’t play games with, but now in this current atmosphere everything is the subject of one-upmanship, everything’s a possibility, a potential piece of bait for the political game,” Christie said during a press conference. “It is why the American people hate Congress.”

“Palace intrigue” among House Republicans derailed the aid package, Christie said. But don’t blame the Tea Party — the 50-year-old governor said his sights rest squarely on Boehner.

Christie spent much of the autumn campaigning on behalf of Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and Republican candidates for the House and Senate. A week after Sandy hit, he drew the ire of some in his party for praising President Barack Obama’s handling of the storm.

Asked today if he would stump against those he deemed responsible for the aid hold-up, Christie said, “We’ll see. Primaries are an ugly thing.”

Christie said Obama called him yesterday to discuss the developments and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor called him yesterday at 11:20 p.m. New York time to let him know the vote had been called off.

Christie followed that call with four of his own to Boehner, with none returned. He said he spoke to both Boehner and Obama today, but declined to be more specific.

“There’s only one group to blame for the continued suffering of these innocent victims: the House majority and their speaker, John Boehner,” Christie told reporters today in Trenton. “Last night politics was placed before our oath to serve our citizens.”

Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor pledge to pass the $61 billion aid package in a meeting with New York and New Jersey lawmakers this afternoon.

Boehner promised a Jan. 15 House vote on more than $51 billion in Sandy aid and a Jan. 4 vote on raising the government’s borrowing authority by $9 billion for flood insurance, Rep. Peter King of New York said.

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