By John Ostapkovich

TRENTON, N.J. (CBS) — New Jersey governor Chris Christie says the Federal Emergency Management Agency has been doing a fairly good job in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, but he’s hoping for one major change in its work.

While admitting that post-Sandy interim housing is a mixed bag, Governor Christie says he’s been pushing for FEMA to issue small business grants rather than loans.

“What I argued to the president — successfully — is that we needed a small business grant program, that a lot of the small businesses along the shore live season to season, and if they already had debt, getting more debt wouldn’t necessarily get them open sooner,” Christie said today.

The governor says he and his New York counterpart, Andrew Cuomo, tag-teamed President Obama.

“Governor Cuomo and I argued for flexibility as a form of unity as well,” Christie said today, “because if we got shoehorned into a New York solution or a New Jersey solution, that wouldn’t necessarily work for the other state.”

Christie dismissed talk of ending beach tag fees as part of the big fix as “an ancillary issue.”

Regional Affairs Council special report: “Stormproofing the Delaware Valley”

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