|ANDREW MIGA, Associated Press|
Despite opposition from conservatives concerned about adding billions of dollars more to the nation's debt, Northeast lawmakers were optimistic about having the 60 votes needed to win
Lawmakers say the money is urgently needed to start rebuilding homes, businesses, public transportation facilities and other infrastructure damaged by the
"There's no excuse for delay," said Sen. B ob Menendez, D-
The biggest chunk of money is
Earlier in January,
Sandy damaged or destroyed 305,000 housing units in
The aid package was greased for passage before the last
The ruckus after the
Top House Republicans responded by bringing new Sandy aid legislation to the floor under ground rules designed to win over as many Republicans as possible while retaining support from Democrats eager to approve as much in disaster aid as possible.
Also deleted was
After all the cost-cutting, 179 House Republicans still voted against the disaster aid package with only 49 favoring it.
As with past natural disasters, the Sandy aid bill does not offset the aid with spending cuts, meaning the aid comes at the cost of higher deficits. The lone exception is an offset provision requiring that
As of Monday,
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