House nears vote on Sandy aid

4:43 PM, Jan 15, 2013   |    comments
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WASHINGTON -- Northeastern lawmakers from both parties are pushing for approval of more than $50 billion in relief to victims of Superstorm Sandy, as the House nears a vote later today.

Republican congressman Chris Smith of New Jersey told colleagues, "We are not crying wolf here." Democrat Carolyn Maloney of New York said Congress shouldn't have a "double standard" when it comes to providing storm relief.

She says aid went quickly to Southern states after tornadoes and hurricanes -- but when the Northeast needs help from the second-worst storm in the nation's history, she says the response has been "delay, delay, delay."

Sandy has been blamed for 140 deaths and billions of dollars in residential and business property damage -- much of it in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.

The Senate approved a $60 billion measure in the final days of the last Congress, and a House vote had been expected quickly. But Speaker John Boehner unexpectedly postponed the vote in the last hours of the expiring Congress, amid conservative anger over a separate measure raising tax rates on the wealthy.

Associated Press

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