NJ Gov. Christie on Sandy: ‘Some Things Are Above Politics’

By Melanie Arter | January 8, 2013 | 3:21 PM EST

FILE - In this March 29, 2012 file photo, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie addresses a crowd at a town hall meeting in Manchester, N.J. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

(CNSNews.com) – New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, in his State of the State Address on Tuesday, called on Congress to pass a “full, clean Sandy aid bill,” adding that the damage was so severe that nearly 1,400 boats were either sunken or abandoned in the state’s waterways during the storm.

“Some things are above politics. Sandy was and is one of those things,” Christie said. “We look forward to what I hope will be quick congressional action on a full clean, Sandy aid bill, now, next week and to enactment by the president,” Christie said.

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New Jersey has overseen the removal of over 2.5 million cubic yards of debris, with 17 towns already completing debris removal and 26 more towns “rapidly moving towards completion.” In Mantoloking, N.J., 58 building and eight cars were washed into Barnegat Bay.

President Barack Obama has already signed into law a bill providing $9.7 billion for flood insurance claims for the areas damaged by the storm. The House is set to vote on Jan. 15 on a more comprehensive $51 billion package.

A cabinet-level position has been created to coordinate the state’s efforts to across every agency, Christie said.

“We as a state have waited 72 days – seven times longer than the victims of Katrina waited. And one thing I hope everyone in America now clearly understands: New Jersey – both Republicans and Democrats – will never stand silent when our citizens are being short-changed,” Christie said.