Sandy response brings bipartisan support for government

"I have to say, the administration, the president himself and FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate have been outstanding with us so far," New Jersey's Republican governor Chris Christie said this week. "I have to say, the administration, the president himself and FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate have been outstanding with us so far," New Jersey's Republican governor Chris Christie said this week. Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP

The role of federal government has always been a source of contention among politicians and this year’s upcoming election may have only amplified the discord.

Republicans largely have been critical of government’s role. During the first presidential debate, GOP nominee Mitt Romney derided Obama’s approach as “trickle-down government.” Romney also claimed federal employees are overpaid by 30 percent to 40 percent. The Republican Party platform calls for a 10 percent cut in the federal workforce.

Hurricane Sandy, however, has brought a new tone -- on both sides of the aisle.

Chris Christie, Republican governor of New Jersey, offered unsolicited praise of President Obama, his administration and specifically the role the Federal Emergency Management Agency has played in his state.

"I have to say, the administration, the president himself and FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate have been outstanding with us so far," Christie said in the storm’s aftermath.

He took to Twitter to add, “I have confidence that we will have support from the president and federal authorities.”

Michael Bloomberg, the independent mayor of New York City, also had kind things to say about the federal response to Sandy.

“You know, there was a lot of criticism with [FEMA] back in the Katrina days, and today, you hear nothing but good things about FEMA, and they certainly have been very helpful to us," he said.

Bob McDonnell, Republican governor of Virginia, praised the speed at which government has moved. “To get a disaster declaration in literally a matter of hours is almost unprecedented,” McDonnell said.

Jeb Bush, former Republican governor of Florida, presided over Fugate when the current FEMA administrator was the head of the Florida Division of Emergency Management and said the nation is in good hands.

“If I were President Obama, I’d be very secure in the knowledge that [Fugate is] there handling things,” Bush said recently. He added Fugate is an “experienced and talented” crisis leader.

Democrats, too, have had nothing but good things to say about the emergency response agency.

“FEMA has been extremely helpful and has been embedded with us at the emergency operations center since before Sandy hit the state,” said Takirra Winfield, press secretary for Gov. Martin O’Malley, D-Md. She added FEMA’s resources “have been a tremendous asset in Maryland.”

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
Close [ x ] More from GovExec

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by G Suite

    Cross-Agency Teamwork, Anytime and Anywhere

    Dan McCrae, director of IT service delivery division, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

  • Data-Centric Security vs. Database-Level Security

    Database-level encryption had its origins in the 1990s and early 2000s in response to very basic risks which largely revolved around the theft of servers, backup tapes and other physical-layer assets. As noted in Verizon’s 2014, Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR)1, threats today are far more advanced and dangerous.

  • Sponsored by One Identity

    One Nation Under Guard: Securing User Identities Across State and Local Government

    In 2016, the government can expect even more sophisticated threats on the horizon, making it all the more imperative that agencies enforce proper identity and access management (IAM) practices. In order to better measure the current state of IAM at the state and local level, Government Business Council (GBC) conducted an in-depth research study of state and local employees.

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    The Next Federal Evolution of Cloud

    This GBC report explains the evolution of cloud computing in federal government, and provides an outlook for the future of the cloud in government IT.

  • Sponsored by LTC Partners, administrators of the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program

    Approaching the Brink of Federal Retirement

    Approximately 10,000 baby boomers are reaching retirement age per day, and a growing number of federal employees are preparing themselves for the next chapter of their lives. Learn how to tackle the challenges that today's workforce faces in laying the groundwork for a smooth and secure retirement.

  • Sponsored by Hewlett Packard Enterprise

    Cyber Defense 101: Arming the Next Generation of Government Employees

    Read this issue brief to learn about the sector's most potent challenges in the new cyber landscape and how government organizations are building a robust, threat-aware infrastructure

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    GBC Issue Brief: Cultivating Digital Services in the Federal Landscape

    Read this GBC issue brief to learn more about the current state of digital services in the government, and how key players are pushing enhancements towards a user-centric approach.


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.