Relief, new stimulus from Washington on Christie’s radar

CHERRY HILL – Republican lawmakers in the U.S. Senate led a charge Monday to vote down a disaster relief bill that would have granted New Jerseyans millions in federal assistance. But today, Gov. Chris Christie passed up an opportunity to chide the Beltway GOP the same way he treats local lawmakers.

Asked his opinion of the Republican stand, and whether he’s worried about the relief coming to the Garden State following Tropical Storm Irene, Christie ignored the first question. “No, I’m not worried at all,” he told the press today.

Pressed by a follow-up, he said, “I don’t think there’s any doubt with the Republicans in Washington about where I stand on this.”

Christie was also asked about President Barack Obama’s new jobs bill, a stimulus redux touted as a bipartisan stopgap to the economic hemorrhaging.

“He hasn’t come out with the specifics yet,” Christies said. “He didn’t even say how much it’s going to cost.”

The state is expected to take in $830 million in federal schools money, according to Record reporter Herb Jackson, but Christie said he needs more details before committing to anything. “How do I feel about $830 million,” he said. “Better than $820 million? Yes…It depends.” For instance, the one-shot revenue for schools would very likely leave him with a budget gap the next year, Christie said. He’s proceeding cautiously.

On Monday, Obama is expected to give an update on the deficit reductions at the federal level, which Christie said he’ll be paying attention to.

“He talks about things at a 30,000-feet level,” Christie said of Obama. “The devil’s in the details.”

“I got a feeling this thing’s all about the election,” Christie said. “So, I’d like to see what happens beyond the election.”

Earlier, Christie continued to spread the word about his education reform initiatives:

Pilot program using core curriculum standards could spread, Christie says

  Relief, new stimulus from Washington on Christie’s radar