After weeks of bickering over the details, on Tuesday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill that provides $50.5 billion to fund recovery efforts from Superstorm Sandy.
An earlier vote on the bill was cancelled by House Speaker John Boehner last month after some Republicans criticized the measure for pork spending. That act provoke the fury of elected officials in New York and New Jersey, who sharply upbraided Boehner for delaying the vote until the new Congress was seated, the Wall Street Journal noted.
In order to pass the bill, proponents defeated an amendment offered by conservative Republicans to offset Sandy relief spending with other federal spending cuts. Some spending provisions of the bill were trimmed, including grants of $150 million for ocean management.
The bill passed the house with a vote of 241-180. It now heads to the U.S. Senate, which is more inclined toward Sandy relief spending. A smaller $9.7 billion aid package was signed into law by President Barack Obama earlier this month.
Superstorm Sandy battered coastal areas of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut in late October, killing dozens and causing billions of dollars worth of damage.
The opinions contained in this column are solely those of the writer.
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