By Jueseppi B.
The Senate passed the emergency-spending bill for Hurricane Sandy relief efforts on Friday night.
The 62-32 vote came after the Senate worked all day Friday on amendments to H.R. 1, a vehicle to provide $60.4 billion to storm recovery efforts.
Republican Sens. Scott Brown (Mass.), Susan Collins (Maine), Dean Heller (Nev.), John Hoeven (N.D.), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), Richard Shelby (Ala.), Olympia Snowe (Maine), David Vitter (La.), Dick Lugar (Ind.), Thad Cochran (Miss.), Kay Bailey Hutchison (Texas) and Roger Wicker (Miss.) voted with Democrats for final passage of the measure. Sen. Mark Pryor (D-Ark.) was the only Democrat who voted against the bill, but he then changed his vote later Friday evening. The original vote was 61-33 — with his change it is now 62-32.
Some conservatives said the bill still contained unnecessary spending measures during a time when lawmakers are trying to make spending cuts.
Sen. Dan Coats (R-Ind.) introduced a Republican alternative to the bill that would have cost $24 billion instead of $60.4 billion. He said his version would have stripped out spending that is unrelated to hurricane recovery and non-emergency provisions. His bill was voted on as an amendment to H.R. 1, but it failed on a 41-54 vote.
“I don’t believe there is anyone in this chamber who doesn’t understand the devastating effect of Sandy on the Northeast,” Coats said before his amendment was voted on Friday. “But the bill offered by the other side throws out $60-plus billion to deal with future needs.”
In October, Hurricane Sandy hit the Northeast, causing widespread damage in several states. New York and New Jersey were hit hardest, with thousands of people losing their homes.
The bill now heads to the House, where Republicans have said they’d prefer to deal with an emergency-spending package next year.
Read this entire article here at The Hill.
While The House Of Douches (Representatives) does nothing, as per their usual.
After taking its sweet time but eventually addressing the fiscal cliff, the House of Representatives thinks it deserves a little break. Speaker John Boehner and his gang of merry Republicans will likely fail to pass a bill providing aid for victims of Hurricane Sandy before adjourning this week, leaving a $60.4 billion package passed by the Senate to die. If no vote occurs, legislation must be reintroduced and passed all over again in the new Congress.
“This is absolutely indefensible,” said Republican Peter King of New York on the House floor Tuesday night. “We have a moral obligation to hold this vote.” Another New York politician Representative Nita Lowey echoed King’s disappointment in Boehner. “I truly feel betrayed this evening,” she said. “We can pass this bill tomorrow with bipartisan support.” The House has for weeks put up resistance to the Senate aid package, which is set to expire on Thursday at noon.
“It is truly heartless that the House will not even allow the Sandy bill to come to the floor for a vote, and Speaker Boehner should reconsider his ill-advised decision,” said Senator Charles Schumer. Nancy Pelosi added on Twitter, “We cannot leave here doing nothing. That would be a disgrace.”
Update: President Obama joins the chorus calling for action in a statement:
It has only been two months since Hurricane Sandy devastated communities across New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut as well as other eastern states. Our citizens are still trying to put their lives back together. Our states are still trying to rebuild vital infrastructure. And so, last month, working closely with the Governors of the affected states, I sent Congress an urgent request to support their efforts to rebuild and recover. The Senate passed this request with bipartisan support. But the House of Representatives has refused to act, even as there are families and communities who still need our help to rebuild in the months and years ahead, and who also still need immediate support with the bulk of winter still in front of us.
When tragedy strikes, Americans come together to support those in need. I urge Republicans in the House of Representatives to do the same, bring this important request to a vote today, and pass it without delay for our fellow Americans.
Read this article in it’s entirety at The New York Times.
(CNN) – Lawmakers on both sides slammed House Republican leaders Wednesday for failing to vote on a bill that would have provided billions of dollars in aid to victims of Superstorm Sandy.
“The Republican Party has said it’s the party of ‘family values.’ Last night, it turned its back on the most essential value of all, and that’s to provide food, shelter, clothing and relief for people who have been hit by a natural disaster,” Rep. Peter King, a New York Republican, said in an interview with CNN.
“Anyone from New York or New Jersey who contributes one penny to the Republican Congressional Campaign Committee should have their head examined,” King said. It’s very rare for a lawmaker to call on anyone not to support his own party.
GOP Rep Peter King Goes Off On Republicans For Not Passing Hurricane Sandy Relief Bill
Published on Jan 2, 2013
Rep. Peter King (R-NY) went off on the Republican Party this morning for not passing legislation last night to help the victims of Hurricane Sandy. After the fiscal cliff vote late last night the House was adjourned before a vote was taken on Hurricane Sandy relief – a bill that was loaded with pork projects for several states.
President Barack Obama urged the House GOP leadership to hold a vote Wednesday — the final full day of the current Congress. At noon Thursday, a new Congress will be sworn in, and will have to start from scratch in passing any legislation. Noting that the Senate passed the aid package with bipartisan support, Obama said the House “has refused to act,” even as some families need support immediately “with the bulk of winter still in front of us.”
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a Republican, issued a joint statement saying the “continued inaction and indifference by the House of Representatives is inexcusable.”
The aid package put forward by Obama is a “responsible” proposal, the governors said. “This failure to come to the aid of Americans following a severe and devastating natural disaster is unprecedented. The fact that days continue to go by while people suffer, families are out of their homes, and men and women remain jobless and struggling during these harsh winter months is a dereliction of duty.
Some of the harshest comments came from King.
“There are a number of Republicans who maybe can kiss their seat goodbye … because of what was done to them,” he said, pointing fingers at House leadership for putting GOP lawmakers in the region stricken by Sandy in jeopardy. “If you can’t provide the most basic assistance for your district, who needs you in Congress?”
King put the blame squarely on House Speaker John Boehner. The No. 2 Republican in the House, Majority Leader Eric Cantor, had guaranteed a vote on the the $60.4 billion package.
CNN’s Victor Blackwell, Deirdre Walsh and Dan Merica contributed to this report.
Read this entire article here at CNN.
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