Sandy Relief Bill: 3 Facts to Know

January 15, 2013

Later today, the House is expected to vote on a measure to provide disaster assistance for those affected by Superstorm Sandy.  According to Roll Call, “House conservatives are likely to be frustrated this week in the year’s first test of their drive to cut spending, with the chamber on a path to pass a major Superstorm Sandy recovery package.”

During the lameduck session of Congress, Congress approved a bill that extended the borrowing authority of the National Flood Insurance Program.  Now, Congress turns to specific disaster assistance.  The House bill is generally designated as emergency spending and is not paid for.  

  • The bill provides $17 billion in immediate funds “that would meet the immediate needs of communities damaged by the late-October hurricane.”
  • An amendment will be offered that provides $33.7 billion of long-term recovery and mitigation funding.  Some have been critical of some of the funding in this measure such as the $2 million to the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.
  • An amendment will be offered “that would offset the $17 billion with across-the-board cuts of 1.63 percent to both defense and domestic spending.”

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