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Chris Christie Faces More Questions From Hill Democrats on Sandy Aid

Two New Jersey Democrats are wading into the muck of controversies surrounding their Republican governor, Chris Christie.

In addition to revelations that high-ranking aides to Christie ordered lane closures on the George Washington Bridge in alleged retribution against the mayor of Fort Lee, N.J., and allegations from the mayor of Hoboken that the Christie administration tied Superstorm Sandy aid to a development project, Democrats are targeting Christie's overall handling of Sandy aid.
On Friday evening, Reps. Frank Pallone Jr. and Bill Pascrell Jr. released a statement in reaction to reports that their home state had canceled its contract with Hammerman & Gainer Inc., a Louisiana firm overseeing a billion-dollar housing recovery initiative in the wake of the superstorm's destruction.

"It's simply unacceptable that it took seven weeks for us to learn that the contract with the firm handling the largest Sandy recovery program had been terminated," the two lawmakers said in their joint statement. "The manner in which this information has come to light is concerning and Governor Christie's Administration must come forward and explain."

"We have both heard numerous accounts from constituents that critical storm aid has been slow to come, and today’s news raises serious questions about the efficiency with which the Christie Administration has managed this important program," Pallone and Pascrell said. "The people of New Jersey deserve a full explanation about the lack of transparency of the recovery grant programs and how this much needed funding has been distributed."

It's the latest sign his problems are far from over on Capitol Hill.

Here's the full statement:

 "It's simply unacceptable that it took seven weeks for us to learn that the contract with the firm handling the largest Sandy recovery program had been terminated. The manner in which this information has come to light is concerning and Governor Christie’s Administration must come forward and explain why HGI was terminated and put forth a plan to execute the RREM program moving forward.

"We fought alongside our colleagues in Congress to secure these Sandy recovery funds in the face of tremendous opposition from the Tea Party and we won't stand for any more excuses as to why so many New Jerseyans are still waiting for much needed help. We have both heard numerous accounts from constituents that critical storm aid has been slow to come, and today’s news raises serious questions about the efficiency with which the Christie Administration has managed this important program. The people of New Jersey deserve a full explanation about the lack of transparency of the recovery grant programs and how this much needed funding has been distributed."