New Jersey’s top Senate lawmaker is accusing his GOP colleagues of being “scared and timid” of the state’s Republican governor.
Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3) blasted Senate Republicans Friday after the caucus announced yesterday it would not support Sweeney’s Sandy Bill of Rights that Gov. Chirs Christie vetoed. In a letter to Sweeney, Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean Jr. (R-21) told the bill’s sponsor Republicans wouldn’t support a veto override despite originally approving the bill.
Sweeney called it “absolutely shameless.”
Kean’s letter came after Republican lawmakers overwhelmingly supported the measure when it originally passed the Senate 34-0 and 72-0 in the Assembly.
“I asked my Republican colleagues to join me in standing up for the victims of Hurricane Sandy,” Sweeney said in a statement.
“Instead of doing so, they decided to go back on their own vote and turn their backs on the families who need them most,” he said. “The politics of a scared and timid GOP has shown its ugly head yet again in New Jersey. And the worst part is their cowardice is just punishing folks who’ve already lost so much.”
Without Republican support, Democrats cannot override Gov. Chris Christie’s veto.
Kean told Sweeney in his letter provisions of his bill “are in direct conflict with numerous federal laws” and its implementation could harm storm victims by preventing additional federal aid from coming to the state.
“The only thing we’re scared of is violating federal law,” responded Assemblyman Jon Bramnick on Friday. “The Senate president needs to get an attorney and read the bill because the bill has portions that are clearly in violation in federal law.”
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"Christie’s method for coping with scandal has been more complicated. In January, the seemingly-local issue of lane closings on the George Washington Bridge, which created a massive traffic jam in the Hudson River town of Fort Lee, became one of national interest when it was revealed that one of Christie’s closest staffers had ordered them—for what looked like political retribution against a Democratic mayor. The scandal was quickly dubbed 'Bridgegate,' and unfortunately for Christie, it played into his reputation as a bully. Christie's response was to act unlike himself: humble." - Olivia Nuzzi- The Daily Beast
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