Christie blames Congress for slow Sandy recovery at Middletown town hall

Christie talks Sandy, not scandal, at town hall (2/20/14)

MIDDLETOWN - Gov. Chris Christie is blaming the federal government for failing to allocate enough money to the state to fully recover from Superstorm Sandy. Christie says the total allocation could fall $20 billion short of rebuilding needs.

Christie today held his first town hall of his second term. It was also the first since the Bridge-Gate scandal came to light.

The governor met with residents from a section of Middletown that was heavily damaged by Sandy. Many are still waiting for aid and have yet to return to their homes.

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Christie told the crowd he believed the federal government was holding up the much-needed aid. He says the state's recovery program is underfunded. "What happens when you deal with the federal government is the red tape is immeasurable,” he said.

Housing advocates say Christie and his team have bungled aid distribution, leaving thousands of people wrongly rejected, and have not been clear about why the company hired to dish out the aid was fired.       

Homeowners like Isabel Newson, of Keansburg, weren't afraid to address the governor. "Please stop with the rhetoric, and stop with the B.S. and give us straightforward answers on what's going on with the Sandy grants," she said. 

Christie blames Congress for taking too long to approve a multibillion-dollar aid package.

For the complete footage of the town hall meeting, watch the clips to the left or click News 12 Extra on Optimum TV channel 612. 

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