Senate expected to approve Sandy bill
By Gannett News Service
Published: Thursday, Jan. 17, 2013, 8:06 p.m.
WASHINGTON — The Senate is expected to approve a bill next week that contains $50.5 billion in aid for states pummeled by Superstorm Sandy.
The amount is on top of $9.7 billion that Congress approved on Jan. 4 to help pay flood-insurance claims related to the Oct. 29 storm.
The bill includes $16 billion in Community Development Block Grant money critical for rebuilding; $10.9 billion for public transportation projects; and $13 billion to safeguard the Northeast against another storm.
House lawmakers voted 241-180 earlier this week to approve the $50.5 billion, but not without dissent. All but one of the no votes came from Republicans who said the legislation is too expensive and should be offset by spending cuts elsewhere.
The Senate vote on Tuesday is not expected to be as controversial, however.
The Senate is on record in support of the Sandy aid. On Dec. 28, while the 112th Congress was still in session, the Senate voted 62-32 to approve $60.4 billion in aid — about equal to the $9.7 billion in flood-insurance money and the $50.5 billion in the House-passed bill combined.
That earlier Senate vote became invalid when the 112th Congress ended and the 113th Congress was sworn in.
Several new senators, including Republicans Deb Fischer of Nebraska, Jeff Flake of Arizona and Ted Cruz of Texas, will participate in the vote. Senators from New Jersey and New York have said they don't expect trouble getting the House-passed legislation approved.
Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., told reporters on Thursday that he expects “quick Senate action” on the aid bill.
“I hope that we'll largely take the House bill and seek to move it in the Senate so it can immediately be sent to the president without conference, without amendment, without changes,” he said.
Moments after the House passed its bill, Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., said he was pushing for that to happen.
“Hopefully they can get it through the Senate without any complications,” he said. “I don't want to go through this again.”
The goal, according to New Jersey and New York lawmakers, is to get the bill to President Obama by the end of the month.
Senate passage would mark a long-awaited victory for the Northeast, which has been calling for aid since Superstorm Sandy began pounding towns along the New Jersey and New York coasts.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Satanists want to build monument
- CMU grad, hiking accident survivor Ralston arrested in Colorado
- 44,000 Cuban migrants arrive in U.S. in fiscal year ’13