Once again the GOP is coming to the harsh realization that Northeast Republicans cannot relate to their conservative base.
At a 2PM press conference, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie slammed Speaker John Boehner and the Republican House Majority for its failure to pass the Hurricane Sandy relief bill.
In his statement, Christie expressed his frustration and disgust with the Speaker and Congress for politicizing such an event. Christie claimed his people and the people of New York were "played like pawns...and that's why people hate Washington, DC".
Let's get a few things straight. Speaker Boehner should be ousted for his role in passing such a P.O.S bill last night that does nothing to solve our spending problem, or our future financial insolvency. He and the Majority leadership at large, have done nothing but fumble every opportunity given to them to take on the reckless spending that plagues D.C.
However, with that said, I believe the Speaker was right in his decision to table the relief bill. This bill is the typical response in the wake of a natural disaster - throw as much money at it as we can, and hope for the best.
Time to wake up, this practice hasn't worked in years, and is one of the many reasons why we face the financial situation we do today.
A few facts about the bill -
- The relief bill totaled over $60 billion. Only $9 billion would be spent in FY 2013 and an additional $12 billion in FY 2014.
- The majority of this relief bill would be spent after FY 2014
- The bill includes $150 million for fish hatcheries in Alaska
- $821 million in dredging projects across the country
- $60 million in aid to Japan for the Tsunami
- Includes an estimated $13 billion in pork spending
Natural disaster relief packages should be designed to address the short term needs of the State. Hurricane Sandy victims should not serve as pawns in a political arena. I agree with the Governor when he says NY and NJ have waited too long. But a natural disaster should not serve as a reason to tack on $13 billion in pork spending.
Instead, the Governor should direct his anger to the cowards in the Senate, like Schumer and Gillibrand, who smelled political opportunism and thought it wise to throw some pork spending onto the backs of the Hurricane Sandy victims. And then, had the audacity to bash the House majority for not passing it.
Governor Christie is picking a fight with a weak Congress and he knows it. So does Rep. Peter King. It will serve them both well come re-election time, and they know that too.
If the Speaker was smart (which I am seriously doubting these days) he would have put the original relief package worth between $27 and $30 billion on the table last night, giving the States what they needed for FY 2013. And if Christie was serious, and the straight shooter he claims to be, he would have taken it.