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Chrisite Goes to Washington to Make Plea for Sandy Aid

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Dec. 6 (Bloomberg) -- New Jersey Governor Chris Christie plans to press for federal aid to help the state recover from superstorm Sandy in a trip to Washington today, his office said.

Kevin Roberts, a spokesman for Christie, declined to say yesterday whether the 50-year-old Republican will meet with President Barack Obama or other officials.

“He will be conveying the concerns and needs of New Jersey to Congress and the federal government,” Roberts said.

Christie’s trip comes three days after New York Governor Andrew Cuomo traveled to Washington to ask for $42 billion in aid. Sandy ripped through three states Oct. 29, killing more than 90 people, flooding New York City’s subway system and ravaging beach towns from Atlantic City, New Jersey, to Bridgeport, Connecticut.

Christie, who has said his state will spend $36.9 billion on rebuilding, has joined with Cuomo and Connecticut’s Dannel Malloy, both Democrats, in seeking a combined $83 billion in aid.

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Democrat from Nevada, said yesterday that Obama may submit a request as soon as today seeking about $60 billion for recovery.

Efforts to secure aid for the storm-ravaged states could be complicated by the federal government’s own fiscal strains, as Obama and Republicans negotiate over a deal to stop more than $600 billion in automatic tax increases and spending cuts from taking effect next month.

In 2011, after Hurricane Irene struck, the government was pushed close to a shutdown after House Republicans, including Majority Leader Eric Cantor, pressed to have some $3 billion in disaster aid paid for with cuts to other parts of the budget, a stance that Christie publicly criticized.

To contact the reporter on this story: Terrence Dopp in Trenton at tdopp@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Stephen Merelman at smerelman@bloomberg.net

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