You know nothing happens in the Republican-controlled House out of altruism (unless it’s giving a targeted tax break to a big donor), so while it’s good that the Hurricane Sandy aid was approved, it’s very depressing that Republicans have to chip away at plans to prevent similiar damage from happening again:
Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen’s (R-NJ) amendment to complete the Hurricane Sandy recovery and resiliency package just passed the House by a 228-192 vote. It adds $33.7 billion to the underlying $17 billion aid bill sponsored by Rep. Hal Rogers (R-KY). The final package passed by a vote of 241-180. Only 49 Republicans, mostly from the Northeast, voted for final passage. These measures, along with prior flood insurance funding, would provide close to $60.4 billion in aid.
This critical victory comes attached with some unfortunate strings, including Republican-backed legislation that will cut hundreds of millions of dollars in coastal rebuilding. In addition, a measure was passed to prohibit the Agriculture and Interior departments from acquiring federal land using supplemental Sandy funding, inhibiting coastal restoration efforts. Luckily, other destructive amendments failed including an attempt to cut $13 million in funding for National Weather Service and an attempt to offset $17 billion of Sandy aid with discretionary spending cuts.