New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie urged members of Congress to take swift action in approving federal aid for communities impacted by Hurricane Harvey and the devastating flooding that has hit parts of southeastern Texas.
"Don't wait 66 days to deliver aid to people who are suffering and dying," Christie told Fox News on Wednesday. "And don't play politics with this. Don't connect it to anything else. This idea of connecting it to offsets or the debt ceiling, do not do it because what will happen then is politics will infect this."
Christie, who was governor of New Jersey when Superstorm Sandy devastated parts of the state in 2012, has criticized Republican lawmakers who voted against an initial package that included $51 billion in disaster relief for his state, including Texas Sens. Ted Cruz and John Cornyn.
Some people, Christie said, were forced to wait 66 days for federal aid as Congress debated the measure.
He said Congress has learned many lessons after Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Sandy that should guide them now.
"There's not a liberal or conservative way to deal with people who are drowning and dying," Christie said. "We need to get aid to them. That's what the federal government is there for, and I hope they don't wait."
President Trump and first lady Melania Trump visited southeastern Texas on Tuesday, meeting with state and local officials and receiving a briefing on rescue and recovery efforts. During the trip, the president insisted that Congress would move quickly to approve federal aid to parts of southeastern Texas.
"I think it'll happen very quickly," Trump said of a multibillion dollar federal disaster relief package. "It'll go very fast."