Prieto Stands Against ‘Day One of the Christie Hostage Crisis’

TRENTON – At a statewide standstill, Speaker Vincent Prieto as part of a statehouse annex press conference this afternoon said Governor Chris Christie owns the government shutdown.

“The last that I can check, I don’t have the executive order to shut down government,” Prieto said. “This executive order is from Governor Christie. He actually said he is holding the budget hostage with the Horizon bill. Why after seven and a half years is this the battle that he needs to have?

“We’re in day one of the Christie hostage crisis,’ added Prieto. “All he has to do is release those members in abstention who are scared of him cutting things out of the budget. They don’t have the courage of some of the people standing behind me. This healthcare company insures close to 4 million people and to think at this time of uncertainty we would jeopardize their healthcare is unconscionable. It just came over from the senate. It hasn’t been vetted.”

Assembypeople Liz Muoio, Raj Mukherji and John Wisniewski stood with the speaker. So did Assemblywoman Shavonda Sumter, Assemblyman John McKeon and Assemblyman Reed Gusciora.

“He used to mock Donald Trump before he was with him, and then he was with him,” the speaker said of the governor. “I will send you a bill in five minutes if you will keep your word on the school funding. But release those members. If they do the right thing, I can move this bill out of our house.”

In the midst of a government shutdown over Christie’s refusal to budge on controversial  Horizon restructuring legislation, the speaker said he would be willing to look at a bill that gives the money back to the ratepayers.
“My board list is open and I am going to keep it open until the votes get to 41,” the speaker said. “People’s lives will be affected. A hundred-thousand people won’t get paid. State parks are closed.”
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