Will the Senate pass the $60 billion Sandy recovery bill?
In the midst of debt and deficit negotiations in Washington, politicians are carefully considering all aspects of the proposed billion-dollar superstorm Sandy recovery bill.
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"When a natural disaster occurs, there is a textbook response by Congress - they cobble together an overpriced bill that isn't paid for, there's no accountability or oversight, and it's filled with pork. This proposal is no different," the group said in an email to senators.Skip to next paragraph
In Pictures Sandy: Chronicle of an unrelenting storm
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Among spending items in the Senate bill drawing the ire of Washington conservatives is one seeking $150 million for fishery disasters in Alaska and Mississippi - thousands of miles from the Sandy damage. The bill also includes a request of $50 million for the National Park Service's historic preservation fund and nearly $9 million to replace vehicles and other equipment used by the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security.
Even some local New Jersey politicians criticized the bill.
"A full 5 percent of the appropriation request is earmarked for the replacement of federal assets, rather than rebuilding and aid efforts in the tri-state area," New Jersey State Senator Joe Pennacchio, a Republican, said in a statement, referring to New Jersey, New York and Connecticut.
The three states had initially requested $82 billion in aid, although damage estimates were expected to rise over time. Some of the rebuilding costs were expected to be covered by private insurance.