House Passes Sandy Relief Bill Despite Republican Opposition
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After failing to get it done in the last Congress, the House has passed the Sandy Relief bill:
The House approved a $50 billion Sandy relief bill Tuesday evening, after several hours of contentious debate in which scores of Republicans tried unsuccessfully to cut the size of the bill and offset a portion of it with spending cuts.
Members approved the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act, H.R. 152, in a 241-180 vote. Among Republicans, 179 voted against it, and just 49 voted for it, a protest against a bill that many conservatives say is too big and provides funding for things other than immediate relief for New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.
The debate often grew contentious as Republicans from the Northeast battled their Southern and Midwestern colleagues.
“Florida, good luck with no more hurricanes,” Rep. Frank LoBiondo (R-N.J.) shouted to any member who might oppose the bill. “California, congratulations, did you get rid of the Andreas Fault? The Mississippi’s in a drought. Do you think you’re not going to have a flood again?
Speaker Boehner pulled the Sandy Relief vote in the last session of Congress and faced a rebuke from New Jersey Republican Governor Chris Christie. His allowing this vote despite considerable Republican opposition is further indication he may be forced to use Democratic votes to overcome his own party to pass legislation this session.
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