Update 1:00 p.m.
The U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) approved New Jersey’s disaster recovery plan, Gov. Christie announced mid-day Monday.
HUD will fund $1.83 billion to support housing, infrastructure, and business through homeowner relief, infrastructure development, and low-interest loans to small businesses.
“Today’s news sends a very powerful message that New Jersey is moving forward and that the Jersey Shore will be open for business this summer,” Christie said at a press conference. “These funds will provide critical resources to our Sandy-impacted homeowners and businesses to reconstruct, rehabilitate and continue down the road of recovery.”
Six months after superstorm Sandy ravaged New Jersey, Gov. Chris Christie said he has no regrets on working with President Barack Obama on his state’s recovery—despite political blowback.
“The president has kept every promise he made,” the Republican governor said on Morning Joe Monday from Asbury Park, N.J. “Everybody knows I have about 95% level of disagreement with Barack Obama on principle and philosophy, but the fact is we have a job to do. What people expect from people they elect is to do their jobs.”
The two were pictured embracing, just seven days before the presidential election, as they toured the destruction in New Jersey.
Republicans slammed Christie for working with the president they were trying to unseat and shunned the one-time GOP star from conservative events like CPAC, despite his high approval ratings. (Currently 68% of New Jersey residents believe he’s doing a good job.)
“I supported Mitt Romney and I was very vocal about it, but the fact is presidential politics were not the first thing on my mind that day,” Christie said.
Failing to put politics aside and get the job done is one of the reasons Americans disapprove so strongly of Washington, D.C, he said. (Just 15% of Americans approve of the job Congress is doing.)
“That’s why they hate Washington so much. They hate Washington because people don’t care, many of them, they don’t care about getting the job done,” he said. “They care about arguing with each other and being right. The president’s guilty of that, the Congress is guilty of that.”
Christie challenged his critics to put themselves in his shoes.
“What the president and I did at that time is we saw suffering together,” he said. “When you see that, you’re either going to step up and be responsible or you’re not. We stepped up and were responsible.”