Objections raised over additional projects lumped with Sandy relief
Some lawmakers are cautioning against passing the $50.7 billion Superstorm Sandy aid package, which includes $150 million in aid for fisheries in Alaska, Mississippi and the Northeast. House Republicans have introduced an alternative proposal.
Conservatives and watchdog groups are mounting a "not-so-fast" campaign against a $50.7 billion Superstorm Sandy aid package that Northeastern governors and lawmakers hope to push through the House this coming week.
Their complaint is that lots of the money that lawmakers are considering will actually go toward recovery efforts for past disasters and other projects unrelated to the late-October storm.
A Senate-passed version from the end of the last Congress included $150 million for what the Commerce Department described as fisheries disasters in Alaska, Mississippi and the Northeast, and $50 million in subsidies for replanting trees on private land damaged by wildfires.
The objections have led senior House Republicans to assemble their own $17 billion proposal, that when combined with already approved money for flood insurance claims, is less than half what President Barack Obama sought and the Senate passed in December
That $17 billion package will be brought to the floor by the House Appropriations Committee, and Northeast lawmakers will have a chance to add $33.7 billion more.
House Speaker John Boehner intends to let the House vote on both measures. He's responding both to conservatives who are opposed to more deficit spending, and to Govs. Andrew Cuomo, D-N.Y., and Chris Christie, R-N.J., who are irate that the House hasn't acted sooner.
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