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Christie Satisfied With Sandy Funding Request [AUDIO]

New Jersey and New York joined forces to ask the federal government for a total of $82 billion to rebuild and recover in the wake of super-storm Sandy.

Governor’s Office/Tim Larsen

President Barack Obama is requesting that Congress approve $60 billion, but Governor Chris Christie is not disappointed.

“I’m grateful to the Administration for what they did,” says Christie. “Not only because $60 billion is a significant amount of money, but also because they granted Governor (Andrew) Cuomo and I the greatest amount of flexibility any Governors have been granted in terms of our use of the funds if in fact the proposal is adopted as presented.”

Christie says that flexibility allows him and Cuomo to spend the money in the way that they see fit. “That has great value to it,” explains Christie. “I’m satisfied with the amount that’s been appropriated.”

The Governor says the onus is now on the New Jersey and New York congressional delegations to push through the funding request as is. He hopes that happens by December 21st.

“Some of the damages in our state are different than in New York and so Governor Cuomo and I argued for flexibility as a point of unity as well,” says Christie. “If we got shoehorned into a New York solution or a New Jersey solution, that wouldn’t necessarily work for the other state.”

Following the Obama Administration’s $60 billion disaster aid request, U.S. Senators Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) supported the President’s request for federal funding to help states and localities impacted by super-storm Sandy.

In joint statement, the Senators say, “This supplemental is a very good start, and while $60 billion doesn’t cover all of New York and New Jersey’s needs, it covers a large percentage. Just as important, there is a great deal of flexibility that better allows us to help homeowners, small businesses, hospitals, beach communities, and localities rebuild, repair and protect themselves. We’d like to thank the White House for being open and receptive to our suggestions. Of course, as we have said before, we believe this will be the first of several supplementals that will be necessary as our states’ needs become more clear and we look forward to working with the White House on those as well. This is going to be a tough fight in the Congress given the fiscal cliff, and some members have not been friendly to disaster relief, but the care with which the package has been put together has given us a good head start.”

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