New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie called on lawmakers Tuesday to quickly approve federal disaster aid for communities affected by Tropical Storm Harvey, saying funds should "not be held political hostage like Sandy aid was."
"Disasters should not be politicized,” Christie told Fox News’ "Your World with Neil Cavuto." "It’s about people’s lives and getting their lives rebuilt … [People] want to hear that their government’s going to come in and partner with the state to get their homes and their businesses rebuilt and get their lives back together."
After Superstorm Sandy devastated New Jersey in 2012, Christie harshly criticized Republican lawmakers who voted against an initial $51 billion aid package. Two dozen Republican House members from Texas and Republican U.S. Senators Ted Cruz and John Cornyn were among those who voted against the measure.
Many lawmakers who voted against the Sandy legislation have since cited additional spending in initial drafts of the legislation as the reason. Christie described those claims Tuesday as "disingenuous" and "political re-writing."
"What matters is not rehashing that argument," the governor said. "What matters is … people waited over 65 days for federal relief aid … during Sandy. That was six times the amount of time they waited after Hurricane Andrew and ten times more than they waited [after] Hurricane Katrina."
Christie also praised President Donald Trump for visiting Texas so soon after the storm and said criticism of Trump for doing so was "outrageous."
"President Trump has put together a great team of folks to go with him to Texas. This is not some type of photo op," Christie said. "This a working time where he sits with [Texas] Governor [Greg] Abbott and they figure out what’s really needed … and it will form the basis of a relationship that’s going to continue for months going forward to make sure that challenges are met. So I think that President Trump has done an extraordinary job so far. He and the first lady are right to be down there."