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Thread: Parts of N.J. declared a disaster area; Christie urges Congress not to hold up aid

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    Parts of N.J. declared a disaster area; Christie urges Congress not to hold up aid

    [URL="http://www.northjersey.com/news/Christie_Dont_delay_storm_aid_for_spending_cuts.html"]The Record[/URL]


    [URL="http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=ptrARBX9D14#!"]http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=ptrARBX9D14#![/URL]


    [QUOTE]


    Wednesday, August 31, 2011 Last updated: Wednesday August 31, 2011, 7:08 PM

    BY HERB JACKSON AND MARY JO LAYTON
    SENIOR WRITERS


    Governor Christie said Wednesday that New Jersey needs disaster relief now, and the public’s suffering should not be fodder for Washington political battles that could erupt when Congress returns from its summer recess.

    [B]“We don’t have time to wait for folks in Congress to figure out how they want to offset this stuff with the budget cuts. … Nobody was talking about off-setting budget cuts in Joplin," Christie said at a news conference in Lincoln Park, referring to relief for victims of a deadly tornado in Missouri in May.

    While he left himself some wiggle room by saying Congress could “figure out the budget cuts later,” Christie’s statement puts one of the Republican Party’s newly minted stars at odds with Tea Party and conservative lawmakers in Congress, including Rep. Scott Garrett of Wantage.[/B]

    They have said that with record deficits any additional disaster relief has to be offset by spending cuts. That requirement, also voiced by House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., creates the possibility that relief could be delayed if the Democratically controlled Senate rejects offsetting cuts.

    President Obama declared New Jersey a disaster area on Wednesday afternoon, making affected residents and business owners in Bergen, Essex, Morris, Passaic, and Somerset counties eligible for a variety of federal grants and loans to cover uninsured losses.

    People can being applying Thursday by calling 800-621-3362 or using the website [url]www.disasterassistance.gov[/url]

    The president’s declaration also said federal relief could also be provided to repair public works such as roads, pipelines and bridges in Atlantic, Cape May, Cumberland, and Salem counties. A spokeswoman for the Federal Emergency Management Agency said more counties could be added later for both kinds of relief.

    FEMA had about $900 million in its disaster relief fund before Hurricane Irene hit. On Monday, FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate said the balance was about $800 million, and the agency had temporarily put some construction projects approved at past disaster sites on hold.

    Congress has a long history of approving relief for major disasters such as hurricanes through emergency spending bills rather than the normal budget process. Indeed, $110 billion of the $130 billion in disaster funds provided over the past two decades were approved as emergencies, The Associated Press reported.

    This year, House Republican leaders accused President Obama of trying to conceal the amount of deficit spending in his budget by not providing FEMA with enough money. Obama had requested $1.8 billion for the 2012 fiscal year that starts Oct. 1, while FEMA spent four times that amount in the prior year.

    A 2012 funding bill for FEMA approved by the House in June increased the disaster fund by cutting $1 billion from a loan program for fuel-efficient vehicles and $850 million from homeland security grants for states, counties and municipalities.

    The Senate did not act on that bill, and could take up disaster funding within weeks without providing any offsetting cuts, according to Sen. Frank Lautenberg, vice chairman of the appropriations subcommittee that funds FEMA.

    Christie appeared in Lincoln Park with several members of the state congressional delegation, including Lautenberg and Rep. Rodney Frelinghysen, R-Harding, a member of the subcommittee that wrote the FEMA spending bill with the spending offsets.

    “We need the support now here in New Jersey, and that’s not a Republican or a Democratic issue,” Christie said.

    “So, I would urge all my colleagues in the New Jersey delegation, doesn’t matter which party you are in, and all the rest of the folks in Congress. … I don’t want to hear about the fact that offsetting budget cuts have to come first, before New Jersey citizens are taken care of.”

    Frelinghuysen did not address the offsets when he spoke, but Lautenberg, D-N.J., jumped on the governor’s remarks.

    [B]“We are going to fight like hell against those that want to cut back FEMA’s funding,’’ Lautenberg said.[/B]

    E-mail: [email]jackson@northjersey.com[/email] Blog: northjersey.com/herbjackson and [email]layton@northjersey.com[/email]

    [/QUOTE]

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    [QUOTE=Buster;4124156][URL="http://www.northjersey.com/news/Christie_Dont_delay_storm_aid_for_spending_cuts.html"]The Record[/URL]


    [URL="http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=ptrARBX9D14#!"]http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=ptrARBX9D14#![/URL][/QUOTE]

    [quote= Gov. Christie]“We need the support now here in New Jersey, and that’s not a Republican or a Democratic issue,” Christie said.

    “So, I would urge all my colleagues in the New Jersey delegation, doesn’t matter which party you are in, and all the rest of the folks in Congress. … I don’t want to hear about the fact that offsetting budget cuts have to come first, before New Jersey citizens are taken care of.”[/quote]

    :clapper:

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    Christie "Mr. Fiscal" has asked the big bad federal gov't for money a lot. I could of sworn this guy was against this type of stuff? He won't care if the Treasury prints money as long as it comes to HIS state?
    This guy is a fraud.

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    [QUOTE=cr726;4124320]Christie "Mr. Fiscal" has asked the big bad federal gov't for money a lot. I could of sworn this guy was against this type of stuff? He won't care if the Treasury prints money as long as it comes to HIS state?
    This guy is a fraud.[/QUOTE]

    Do you realize how many people still don't have power? Have you seen pictures of Denville or Manville, where the downtown streets look like flowing rivers? We got rocked, plain and simple. The federal disaster relief exists for a circumstance like this.

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    So the federal gubmint is OK now? :rolleyes:

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    [QUOTE=pauliec;4124340]Do you realize how many people still don't have power? Have you seen pictures of Denville or Manville, where the downtown streets look like flowing rivers? We got rocked, plain and simple. The federal disaster relief exists for a circumstance like this.[/QUOTE]

    Please don't forget the millions of gov't money he asked for snow removal, I thought he didn't want the Federal Gov't in his state business? I guess that's ok when it comes to spending their money? FEDERAL can never be better than STATE!!!!! That's was the slogan, well until they need the big bad FEDERAL Gov't!!!!

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    I really can't believe something like this is being utilized for partisan talking points. Like him or not, the guy has apparently placed politics on the back-burner for the purposes of helping his constituency recover from a disaster. Most people would applaud that and thank a person for being so pragmatic.

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    [QUOTE=Jetworks;4124374]I really can't believe something like this is being utilized for partisan talking points. Like him or not, the guy has apparently placed politics on the back-burner for the purposes of helping his constituency recover from a disaster. Most people would applaud that and thank a person for being so pragmatic.[/QUOTE]

    He wouldn't care what you think, you are a public sector employee with a generous pension.

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    [QUOTE=cr726;4124367]Please don't forget the millions of gov't money he asked for snow removal, I thought he didn't want the Federal Gov't in his state business? I guess that's ok when it comes to spending their money? FEDERAL can never be better than STATE!!!!! That's was the slogan, well until they need the big bad FEDERAL Gov't!!!![/QUOTE]

    Obama is coming to the state on Sunday to visit some of the disaster areas. I don't think he would do that if Christie was asking for federal money for some run of the mill rainstorm.

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    Were the off setting spending cuts on the table when the government used US taxpayer millions for the disaster relief money allocated to foreign countries?

    Draw a line in the sand on the backs of US taxpaying citizens with no electricity and possibly with destroyed/severely damaged homes after being slammed by a hurricane...absolutely disgusting.

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    [QUOTE=pauliec;4124388]Obama is coming to the state on Sunday to visit some of the disaster areas. I don't think he would do that if Christie was asking for federal money for some run of the mill rainstorm.[/QUOTE]

    I must of missed Obama's visit after the blizzard?

    [QUOTE]Gov. Chris Christie today formally requested $53 million in federal reimbursement funds for the post-Christmas blizzard of 2010. [/QUOTE]
    [url]http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2011/01/gov_christie_requests_53_milli.html[/url]

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    Why don't governors for both parties begin non-stop soliciting of federal funding for placing of utilities underground (electric/phone/cable lines on poles is a failure of massive proportion), and solving chronic flooding issues in Eastern states? Let's spend our money here in the US, rather than on bases in far corners of the world, improving our infrastructures. Imagine the jobs we could craet in this monumental task.

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    [QUOTE=cr726;4124393]I must of missed Obama's visit after the blizzard?


    [url]http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2011/01/gov_christie_requests_53_milli.html[/url][/QUOTE]

    I really don't understand what you're complaining about. Do you not want the federal disaster relief?

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    [QUOTE=pauliec;4124444]I really don't understand what you're complaining about. Do you not want the federal disaster relief?[/QUOTE]

    I don't believe he is complaining. He just sees the hypocrisy of someone like Christie running on a platform of not needing/wanting Federal aid, then asking for it once his state required disaster assistance. All states, no matter the grandstanding of governors on both sides of the aisle, at times, need some form of federal assistance.

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    [QUOTE=Borgoguy;4124401]Why don't governors for both parties begin non-stop soliciting of federal funding for placing of utilities underground ...[/QUOTE]

    Underground lines have higher transmission losses. Power companies can use much smaller lines in the air than they would underground. Copper and aluminum is very expensive...so even coupled with repair costs due from storms, it's still cheaper to undersize the lines.


    My guess is that long before it's cost effective to bury all of our power lines...we will have invented wireless power transmission via microwaves beforehand...

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    [QUOTE=PlumberKhan;4124467]Underground lines have higher transmission losses. Power companies can use much smaller lines in the air than they would underground. Copper and aluminum is very expensive...so even coupled with repair costs due from storms, it's still cheaper to undersize the lines.


    [B]My guess is that long before it's cost effective to bury all of our power lines...we will have invented wireless power transmission via microwaves beforehand...[/B][/QUOTE]

    I hope so. Because the current system does not work in areas like where I live which has tons of large, old trees.

    My father's friends from Italy visited here a few years back. One guy is in the power transmission business. He was in shock that, in his words, "a great country like America has power lines on poles, rather than underground like most nations in Europe". I have to agree.

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    [QUOTE=Borgoguy;4124462]I don't believe he is complaining. He just sees the hypocrisy of someone like Christie running on a platform of not needing/wanting Federal aid, then asking for it once his state required disaster assistance. All states, no matter the grandstanding of governors on both sides of the aisle, at times, need some form of federal assistance.[/QUOTE]

    Christie never ran on an overtly libertarian platform where he pledged to refuse, and even disparage, federal disaster relief assistance. He's a northeast conservative in a blue state; he's not a tea partier and never claimed to be.

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    [QUOTE=pauliec;4124474]Christie never ran on an overtly libertarian platform where he pledged to refuse, and even disparage, federal disaster relief assistance. He's a northeast conservative in a blue state; he's not a tea partier and never claimed to be.[/QUOTE]

    I don't live in your state, so am not an expert on Christie. But I clearly remember him talking about not wanting federal intervention with issues pertaining to individual states. If I am wrong about this, I'll defer.

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    [QUOTE=pauliec;4124340]Do you realize how many people still don't have power? Have you seen pictures of Denville or Manville, where the downtown streets look like flowing rivers? We got rocked, plain and simple. The federal disaster relief exists for a circumstance like this.[/QUOTE]




    Tell that to Eric Cantor & Scott Garrett.

    [URL="http://www.joplinglobe.com/dailybusiness/x640620412/Aid-for-Irene-recovery-might-require-cuts-elsewhere"]http://www.joplinglobe.com/dailybusiness/x640620412/Aid-for-Irene-recovery-might-require-cuts-elsewhere[/URL]




    [QUOTE]

    Washington DC — Federal relief to repair damage and offset costs of dealing with Hurricane Irene could become a political battleground in Congress this fall.

    [B]House Republicans demanded earlier this year that new disaster relief be funded by cuts elsewhere, and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s office said Thursday the Virginia Republican continues to believe that.[/B]

    [B]Rep. Scott Garrett agreed. Garrett, R-N.J., said through a spokesman it was the “responsible thing to do.”

    “With $16 trillion in debt and budget deficits as far as the eye can see, the last thing we should be doing is spending money we don’t have,” Garrett spokesman Ben Veghte said.[/B]

    Some North Jersey Democrats, however, said Congress should deal with major disasters the way it often has in the past, with emergency funding provided outside the normal budget process.

    “I’ve always seen, whether it was a big fire out on the West Coast or a calamity in one of the Northern states during a snowstorm, America’s always been there, Congress has always been there,” Rep. Bill Pascrell Jr., D-N.J., said in an interview.

    “Mr. Cantor can’t even run his own caucus. I don’t know how you can expect him to say anything reasonable or sane. This storm isn’t hitting Democrats, it’s not hitting Republicans, it’s hitting all of us,” Pascrell said.

    Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., said in a statement it was “unconscionable that anyone would hold up emergency aid for this storm over ideology.

    “People are going to need urgent help, and I will fight like the devil to deliver it,” Lautenberg said.

    Earlier this year, a bill approved nearly along party lines in the Republican-dominated House sought to cut spending, including about $450 million allocated to Amtrak for upgrades in Central Jersey, to replenish the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Disaster Relief Fund.

    The Senate has not acted on that bill and the Federal Railroad Administration has since approved Amtrak’s project, making it more difficult for Congress to cut the funding.

    FEMA’s disaster fund covers a variety of costs, including emergency workers’ overtime, repairs to public works such as roads and utilities, and temporary housing for victims. Fifteen New Jersey counties buried by a post-Christmas blizzard last year, for example, received $19 million this year from the disaster fund.

    FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate said last week that the fund has about $900 million available, though the agency is still paying for damage from this year’s deadly tornadoes in Alabama and Missouri.

    Congress would have to step in if Irene’s damages deplete the fund, a situation that has happened following major hurricanes in the past.

    [/QUOTE]

  20. #20
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    [QUOTE=Buster;4124489]Tell that to Eric Cantor & Scott Garrett.

    [URL]http://www.joplinglobe.com/dailybusiness/x640620412/Aid-for-Irene-recovery-might-require-cuts-elsewhere[/URL][/QUOTE]

    Check the news today, Christie called out Garrett to think of his constituents first.

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