New Jersey Governor Chris Christie met with President Barack Obama on Thursday as the administration considers an aid package for storm cleanup.
The Republican governor talked with Obama before meeting with White House Chief of Staff Jack Lew and Jeffrey Zients, acting director of the Office of Management and Budget, as well as other members of the president’s staff, White House press secretary Jay Carney said.
Obama may send Congress a request for aid to the states most affected by Sandy by the end of the week, Carney said.
In addition to his discussions at the White House, Christie, was also due to meet with House Speaker John Boehner, said Michael Steel, a spokesman for the lawmaker, an Ohio Republican. The governor is scheduled to talk with the state’s two Democratic U.S. senators, Frank Lautenberg and Robert Menendez, according to Caley Gray, a spokesman for Lautenberg.
Obama probably will seek as much as $60 billion to aid states along the East Coast as they recover from superstorm Sandy, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Nevada Democrat, said earlier this week.
Christie, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy, have been pushing lawmakers for almost $83 billion in aid to rebuild the battered region.
Sandy ripped through the three states Oct. 29, killing more than 90 people, flooding New York City’s subway system and ravaging beach towns from New Jersey’s Atlantic City to Bridgeport, Conn.
Efforts to secure aid for the states hit by Sandy might be complicated by the federal government’s own fiscal strains. Obama and congressional Republicans are attempting to negotiate a deal to stop more than $600 billion in automatic tax increases and spending cuts from taking effect starting in January. Those talks are focused on steps to shrink the federal deficit, which is projected to reach $1.1 trillion this year.
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