Areas that suffered significant damage during Hurricane Sandy might soon get some much-needed financial federal relief. Yesterday, the Senate voted nearly unanimously that they would put a $60.4 billion bill to vote next week that would go towards recovery efforts in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, and it is expected to pass. Yesterday's vote, which ended debate on the bill in the Senate, was 91 to 1.
The bill was put together by Senate Democrats after a request from President Obama earlier this month. And unsurprisingly, it was met with considerable opposition, particularly from Republican congressmen. They argued that certain measures in the bill, like fixing damaged roofs of Smithsonian buildings in Washington, didn't qualify as emergencies, an issue House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (remember him?) particularly harped on. They've suggested whittling it down to about $24 billion.
For the record, the states have estimated that the storm costs top $100 billion and requested $82 billion, with New York City alone asking for nearly $10 billion. The bill will go to its final Senate vote after Christmas before going into battle with the House.