This is the absolute best time to recall a legislature in order to get the body to do your bidding; 4th of July break.
Demanding that Democrats deliver his version of a tax cut, Gov. Christie invoked his constitutional powers Saturday to call lawmakers back from vacation into a special legislative session.
The Republican governor notified Democratic legislative leaders with just 48 hours' notice, as legally mandated, and not a minute more. He will address a combined Assembly and Senate at 11 a.m. Monday and then leave the Statehouse chambers with the hope the bodies will debate his tax-cut recommendations.
The move comes a day after Christie canceled hundreds of millions of dollars in Democrats' spending and set much of it aside for a future tax cut. Christie and Democrats had come to an agreement on a tax cut in May, but it fell apart over Democratic concerns that state revenue in a still-struggling economy couldn't support it.
"Lowering the tax burden imposed on every New Jersey resident is a matter of unique and critical public interest that demands our immediate and full attention," Christie wrote in his letter before going on to quote from the Declaration of Independence.
Democrats immediately dismissed as theater Christie's directive, which requires legislators' attendance for his speech but cannot mandate they vote on anything.
Assemblyman Troy Singleton (D., Burlington) noted that on Friday, Christie vetoed $330 million in energy tax receipts that would have been sent back to municipalities for property tax relief and $50 million that would have been used to increase the earned income tax credit for the working poor.
"The governor chose to veto those tax cuts because they weren't his tax cuts," Singleton said. "That reeks more of politics than policy."
Republicans said they would return ready to work.
It would be a surprise if Christie got what he wanted immediately. There will probably be some horse trading behind the scenes, but eventually some kind of tax cut compromise is likely.
It takes some guts to call legislators back from vacation, something Christie apparently has in abundance.