The vote on the rest of the Sandy recovery funding takes place today.
USA Today: “New Jersey and New York lawmakers are pushing for a robust package that would total at least $51 billion, but its prospects were uncertain. Many conservative Republicans have complained the price tag is too high.” More: “The aid package up for consideration Tuesday consists of a $17 billion aid bill by Rep. Hal Rogers, R-Kentucky, chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, and an amendment by Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen, R-N.J., that would add $34 billion. The House earlier this month approved $9.7 billion to help pay flood insurance claims from the storm. Passage of the measures up for consideration Tuesday could bring the total to around $60 billion. Late last year, the Senate passed a $60.4 billion Sandy disaster bill that mirrored the request from the White House. That vote was nullified when the 112th Congress ended and the 113th Congress took office on Jan. 3.”
And there’s this: “The new disaster relief package could face substantial obstacles. More than 90 amendments had been filed by Friday, including some that would slash funding for Community Development Block Grant money designed to help Sandy victims.” Plus: “Among the most controversial amendments is one from Rep. Mick Mulvaney, R-S.C., that would completely offset the bill by cutting all discretionary federal programs, including defense, by 1.63%.”
But David Rogers reports: “[T]he South Carolina Republican is sure to face resistance in his own party since the reduction from defense would come on top of automatic spending cuts already threatening the military this spring.”
Rogers notes that Republicans scaled ack the amendments. Here’s how the vote will go: “At the core of Tuesday’s debate will be a two-step process in which that same $17 billion tranche is only the starting point. That package, sponsored by House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers (R-Ky.), is almost certain to prevail and then become the underlying bill to which the Northeast will try next to add $33.67 billion. That will be done through an amendment offered by Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-N.J.).”
The Senate reconvenes Jan. 22nd and will take up the legislation then.