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MSNBC "Hardball with Chris Matthews" - Transcript


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SMERCONISH: Joining me now, Democratic congressman from New York, Joe
Congressman Crowley, is any of this rooted in a bias against the Northeast?
I ask you that because the "Associated Press" reports that New York
Congressman Peter King sees a regional bias in the Sandy aid bill
postponement. He said, quote, "Some Republicans have a double standard
when it comes to providing aid to New York and New Jersey compared with
other regions of the country suffering disasters. Somehow," he said,
"money going to New York and New Jersey is seen as corrupt."
Do you see it the same way?

REP. JOE CROWLEY (D), NEW YORK: You know, I can only speak for my own
perspective of my district, of the people that I represent, the people in
Queens and in the Bronx and New York City -- hardworking Americans, people
who get up every day, who go to work, put their kids into school, get home,
have dinner, and do that repeatedly.
They love this country. They don`t think of themselves as New Yorkers.
They think of themselves as Americans.
And when something like this happens in California or if it happens in
Texas, in Florida, in the Carolinas, or in Kansas when the tornado hits,
you know, I don`t ask -- are they really Americans or are they really
Kansans? Or they -- I hope that`s right. Or are they Californians? You
know, or are they Texans?
I don`t ask that question. I just say, what can we do to help?

SMERCONISH: Yes. Peter King noted, Congressman, that $60 billion was
appropriated within 10 days for Katrina. I think that`s part of the
predicate of him making that statement.

CROWLEY: Not to make light of it, I think it`s actually $64 billion in 10
days was allocated towards Katrina. I supported that effort as well.


CROWLEY: I believe that when it comes to a disaster, you know, people
constantly ask, what role does government have in my life? You know, you
realize what the role of government is during a natural disaster like
I don`t live in the Rockaways, I don`t represent that area. But it`s where
my mother is from. I have family down there. I`ve been down to the
Rockaways. I`ve seen the devastation multiple times.
And these are people who don`t ask for anything. They pull themselves up
by their own boot straps and they get going again. But they`re suffering
right now.
And every day that we delay -- and look, I understand what Mr. Boehner was
going through yesterday. I know he had a tough vote in his conference.
That wasn`t fun.
But you know what? Neither is not having power in your House.


SMERCONISH: Understood. Congressman, may I ask you this? Because this is
being attributed to a scheduling snafu. Are you aware of any organized
opposition to relief for the victims of superstorm Sandy?

CROWLEY: Absolutely not. I haven`t heard of any organized effort. I
heard some of my colleagues on the Republican side say they`d like to give
a lot less than the $60.4 billion.


CROWLEY: But I haven`t heard of anything organized like that. In fact, we
thought we had the votes on Republican side to pass the amendment to make
it a $60.4 billion bill.

SMERCONISH: Got it. OK, thank you, Congressman Joe Crowley. Appreciate
your time.

CROWLEY: Thank you.


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