Cruz said Monday he voted against a 2013 Sandy relief bill because it was "filled with pork"
Christie urged Congress to act fast to pass a bill to help Texas
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie slammed Sen. Ted Cruz Wednesday morning over what he said was the Texas Republican’s double standard in opposing Superstorm Sandy relief but requesting federal aid for Texas after Hurricane Harvey.
“I have no sympathy for this – and I see Sen. Cruz and it’s disgusting to me that he stands in a recovery center with victims standing behind him as a backdrop,” he told CNN’s Chris Cuomo on “New Day.” “He’s still repeating the same reprehensible lies about what happened in Sandy (and) called on Congress Wednesday morning to work fast on a bill to aid Texas after Hurricane Harvey.”
Cruz said Monday he voted against a 2013 Sandy relief bill because it was “a $50 billion bill filled with pork and unrelated spending that wasn’t hurricane relief.”
“It was simply local members of Congress spending on their pet projects and two-thirds of what was spent in that bill had little or nothing to do with Hurricane Sandy,” Cruz said to CNN’s Jim Acosta during “Wolf” on Monday.
When CNN reached out to Cruz’s office for a response to Christie, his office sent remarks he made Wednesday at the George R. Brown Convention Center shelter in Houston, where he doubled down on his statement.
“I’m sorry that there are politicians who are really desperate to get their names in the news and are saying whatever they need to do that,” Cruz said. “For folks who are focused on raising political shots and snipes about the Sandy bill, facts matter. And the fact is that the Sandy bill was over $50 billion and 70% of it was not emergency funding. Only 30% of the funding was emergency funding.”
A Washington Post fact check, however, has disputed Cruz’s claim.
“It is wildly incorrect ton claim that the bill was ‘filled with unrelated pork.’ The bill was largely aimed at dealing with Sandy, along with relatively minor items to address other or future disasters,” the Post fact check concluded.
“Let me be very clear about this: Sen. Cruz was playing politics in 2012, trying to make himself look like the biggest conservative in the world,” Christie said. “And what I said at the time, both to him and everybody else, was if you represent a coastal state, don’t do this because your day is going to come and you’re going to expect people to help you.”
He also urged Congress to act fast to pass a bill to help Texas.
“What I’m urging all the people to do is, Hurricane Andrew, they passed the bill in 10 days. Hurricane Katrina, they passed the bill in six days. Sandy was 66 days. We need to get back to the Andrew and Katrina stage,” he told Cuomo. “Congress needs to get back to work next week and pass a bill that starts to fund the recovery. It should not be connected to the debt ceiling. It should not be connected to offsets.”
He continued: “If the federal government is not here to help people when 50 inches of rain fall on them in a historic way, then what the hell are they there for?”