Cowing to bipartisan pressure, House Speaker John Boehner is bringing to the House floor Friday a measure to help fund recovery efforts for Hurricane Sandy, the superstorm that wreaked havoc in the Northeast, particularly ravaging New York and New Jersey.
Boehner had sought to delay passage of the $60 billion Senate-passed bill, which some in his party say is larded with unnecessary spending. But the speaker was pilloried by members of his own caucus—including a particularly scathing speech by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie Wednesday—and promised to bring the spending measure to the floor in two steps: a vote Friday on a $9 billion infusion of cash to the National Flood Insurance Program and a vote January 15 on the remaining $51 billion proposal.
If the House passes both measures, the Senate will have to vote on the package again because a new Congress was just sworn in.
Sparking the ire of conservative House members, such as California Republican Rep. Darrell Issa, was funding that was included in the Senate bill for non-Sandy related disaster relief, such as $150 million for ground fisherman in the Northeast.
"The requested funding would be used to provide both immediate economic relief to the region's struggling groundfish industry, and to make targeted investments that will allow the fleet to survive and become more sustainable in the years ahead," said Maine Republican Sen. Susan Collins in a press release touting the funding.
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