The House of Representatives on Tuesday agreed to move forward with a bill that would address Sandy relief aid but rejected an amendment proposed by conservatives in the chamber to offset the spending.
The chamber approved the $17 billion measure that would serve as a baseline for a larger Sandy relief bill after rejecting the amendment, introduced by South Carolina Republican Rep. Mick Mulvaney. The amendment would have offset the spending by making a 1.63 percent cut in federal spending across the board in the 2013 fiscal year.
The House plans to vote later tonight on another amendment to the bill that would authorize an additional $33.7 billion for Sandy relief efforts. Combined with a $9.7 billion bill to pay out emergency Sandy-related insurance claims approved in early January, the full extent of federal funding after the storm would add up to about $60 billion.
Since the storm devastated parts of the Northeast in October 2012, leaders from the region have urged lawmakers in Washington to act by approving emergency relief funds.