New Jersey Governor Chris Christie blamed the delay in aid for Superstorm Sandy relief on Washington, D.C. Christie adds that he understands victims’ frustrations, but that his administration isn’t to blame for the delay.
Sandy struck the Eastern seaboard a year ago, but much of the aid promised to the battered areas hasn’t been released. Christie blames Congress for the delays, explaining that the legislature took three months to approve a relief package for the region, along with a thicket of red tape to prevent fraud.
Christie explained to The Associated Press during an interview marking the one year anniversary of the massive storm, “We’ve done everything we possibly can, and I think in the immediate aftermath did a very good job.”
The New Jersey governor added, “Since then, we’ve kind of been hostage to two situations, the delay in the aid itself and then what I call the ‘Katrina factor,’ which is the much more detailed and difficult rules surrounding the distribution of the aid.”
Chris Christie became the face of the relief effort in the days following Superstorm Sandy as he donned a blue personalized fleece pullover and attended countless press conferences, notes CBS News.
Frustrations about the delayed aid boiled over at a hearing last week in Toms River, one of the cities hit hardest by the massive storm. Storm victims present complained of insurance companies attempting to lowball them on their claims, as well as stringent aid rules preventing rebuilding a year after the storm.
Christie assigned staff to monitor the hearings and follow-up on complaints, but didn’t attend the hearings or send a representative, because, as he said, the sessions were led by Democrats out to score points in the political arena. The governor explained, “I get the fact that until any one particular person you speak to is back in their homes and their lives are back to normal, they are going to be incredibly frustrated and upset and, in some cases, distraught.”
Despite Chris Christie’s assertion that Congress is to blame for the delay in Superstorm Sandy aid, the governor has still seen some supporters turn away from him.