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NJ Gov. Christie says Irene disaster aid needs to come before any US spending cut talk
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has reacted angrily to a fight brewing in Washington over whether Hurricane Irene disaster aid may need to be offset by federal spending cuts.
The Republican governor told a news conference Wednesday in the flood-ravaged town of Lincoln Park he doesn't want to hear that offsetting budget cuts have to come before aid is distributed. He says no such discussion was held when help went to Joplin, Mo., where a deadly May tornado damaged 7,500 homes.
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Craig Fugate (FYOO'-gayt) attended the news conference. They promised to support the state in its long-term recovery.
FEMA has less than $800 million in its disaster coffers. U.S. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor has said the House will require offsetting spending cuts to pay for aid.