GOP Senators vow to trim superstorm Sandy aid to $23.8 billion
Senate Republicans have proposed an alternate disaster relief plan for states affected by superstorm Sandy, which would use $23.8 billion- rather than President Obama's proposed $60.4 billion- to fund initial relief.
U.S. Senate Republicans sought to slash a $60.4 billion aid bill to cover reconstruction after Superstorm Sandy, proposing on Wednesday to fund only $23.8 billion in immediate disaster relief while assessing longer-term needs.Skip to next paragraph
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The far smaller initial amount is one of a number of Republican amendments aimed at cutting projects from a bill that they see as a "slush fund" loaded with questionable requests for spending on unrelated programs and big infrastructure.
Senator Daniel Coats of Indiana said his plan for $23.8 billion in initial funding would provide sufficient money for immediate needs through March 27, for work such as debris cleanup, repairing damaged equipment, rebuilding destroyed homes and businesses.
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"It seems to me the most logical, responsible way to move forward is to identify the immediate needs and provide the immediate funding to meet those needs," said Coats, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee.
He said longer-term needs could be considered next year, as Congress works on approving new money to keep government agencies and programs funded after a stopgap measure runs out on March 27.