Christie: N.J. Sandy victims deserve same support Katrina victims received

TRENTON – Gov. Chris Christie and the N.J. congressional delegation emerged from a 90-minute closed-door meeting today with a general show of bipartisan support but few specifics about rebuilding the state post-Sandy.

“We have a commitment to the people in this state,’’ Christie said, that hurricane victims in New Jersey will receive the same treatment Hurricane Katrina victims received.

He gave a special nod of thanks to appropriations committee members U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg, (D-NJ), a frequent partisan foe, and U.S. Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen, (R-11), who he said will work to ensure New Jersey is in the conversation in Washington, D.C., to bring federal money here.

Christie reiterated that everyone will put aside party differences in the effort to move past the superstorm whose financial toll may not be known for some time.

“We have a lot of work to do and not a lot of time to do it,” Christie said.

U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone, (D-6), said that anywhere from 200 to 600 units of housing may be readied at Fort Monmouth by some time after Thanksgiving.

U.S. Rep. Scott Garrett, (R-5), the only N.J. congressman who did not sign a letter early this month asking House leadership to work to build bipartisan support if additional disaster aid is needed, cautioned today that FEMA may not be the appropriate avenue for all of the assistance that New Jersey residents will require.

He and Pallone both said the delegation will work to secure an additional appropriation, and Pallone said that in the closed-door session, support was unanimous for pursuing federal aid, and that he is confident there will be support in Washington, D.C. to help New Jersey rebuild.

Pallone said that Sandy was a game-changer.  “Everyone understands that you may be next,’’ he said. “Everyone realizes there has to be a national response.’’

"The governor still has to come to bat."
—Atlantic County Executive Dennis Levinson, on Atlantic City.