House nears delayed vote on Superstorm Sandy aid
Posted at: 01/15/2013 4:24 PM
WASHINGTON (AP) - The U.S. House pushed toward a vote to speed $50.7 billion in relief to victims of Superstorm Sandy on Tuesday as the Republican leadership struggled to surmount an episode that exposed painful party divisions inside Congress and out.
"We are not crying wolf here," said Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J., part of a group of Northeastern lawmakers from both parties seeking passage of legislation roughly in line with what the Obama administration and governors of the affected states sought.
Democrats were more politically pointed as they brushed back Southern conservatives who sought either to reduce the measure or offset part of its cost through spending cuts elsewhere in the budget.
"I just plead with my colleagues not to have a double standard," said Rep. Carolyn Maloney of New York. "Not to vote tornado relief to Alabama, to Louisiana, to Mississippi, Missouri, to - with Ike, Gustav, Katrina, Rita - but when it comes to the Northeast, with the second worst storm in the history of our country, to delay, delay, delay."