New Jersey Governor Chris Christie said he is “hopeful” as the U.S. House of Representatives prepares to vote tomorrow on $50 billion of aid for victims of Hurricane Sandy.
The governor, 50, a first-term Republican, said he spoke to House leaders over the weekend and was assured of an “orderly” Sandy vote. The package will pass thanks to Democratic support as some Republicans oppose the bill, Christie said.
Christie said he will continue contacting members of Congress to build support for $17 billion of aid for immediate Sandy relief, as well as $33.6 billion for long-range projects designed to limit future storm damage. Some Republicans have expressed reservations about the latter, he said.
“I’ll be concerned until it passes,” Christie said today in Bradley Beach, where he toured a dune-replenishment project. “For this to pass it will have to be a bipartisan effort, because there are certain Republicans who are going to vote against it.”
Sandy struck the East Coast on Oct. 29 and left 2.7 million New Jersey residents without power, flooded some seaside communities and crippled the state’s transit network. Christie has criticized lawmakers for delaying aid.
House Speaker John Boehner, an Ohio Republican, delayed a disaster-aid vote on Jan. 1. After Christie’s rebuke, he allowed a Jan. 4 vote on $9.7 billion of the aid and scheduled tomorrow’s votes.
Christie said he anticipates nearly all House Democrats and “a large number of Republicans” will support the $33.6 billion measure. The bill has been stripped of all “pork spending” and is a “clean Sandy bill,” he said.
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