January 16, 2013
Re: House Passes Sandy Emergency Relief Funding Bill
The House of Representatives held debates and votes on the Hurricane Sandy relief funding bill (H.R. 152) yesterday. The House first voted down a proposal advanced by Congressman Mulvaney of South Carolina to offset a $17 billion appropriation by across the board discretionary program cuts (domestic and military) of 1.6 percent. (The vote was 162, in favor of the proposal, and 258 opposed.) Congressman Rogers’ $17 billion bill then passed with a majority of 327 for and 91 against. After considering 12 different amendments, a smaller but still-comfortable majority (228-192) then voted for Congressman Rodney Frelinghuysen’s amendment to add another $33.7 billion to the package, not only for long-term recovery efforts but also to minimize damage from future storms. All New Jersey Congressmen voted in the affirmative on this and on the subsequent 241-180 vote for final passage.
The $50.66 billion approved by the House is very close to the $50.71 billion requested by the White House and passed by the Senate last year, although the programmatic distribution and much of the fine print differs. We expect the Senate to avoid any further delay, however, and to accept the House proposal. .
The Senate is not in session this week. It will take up the House’s Sandy measure once it returns to session on Tuesday.
Please take the time to thank your Congressman and Governor Christie for their passionate efforts to advance this funding.
Very truly yours,
William G. Dressel, Jr.