House set to vote on $51 billion relief package

POSTED: Wednesday, January 16, 2013 - 12:00am

UPDATED: Wednesday, January 16, 2013 - 12:04am

The thousands of people still recovering from Superstorm Sandy could soon be getting additional help.

The House of Representatives took up a nearly $51 billion dollar aid package on Tuesday.

The vote comes as victims grow increasingly frustrated.

Conservatives had used complaints about excessive federal spending to delay any action.

Some Republicans pushed to offset the aid with across the board cuts elsewhere.

Four additional amendments would strike money from specific projects.

"A tragedy like Hurricane Sandy shouldn't be used as an excuse for a grab bag of spending having nothing to do with emergency relief," charged Rep. Tom McClintock, (R) California.

"It's no grab bag. That is an insult," New York Rep. Bill Pascrell shot back.

Still, many Republicans have joined Democrats in supporting the bill.

"There is no question we have a tremendous spending problem. We have to get our fiscal house in order, but to pick that fight during a natural disaster just is not smart politics," said Rep. Michael Grimm.

The previous Congress has already approved nearly $10 billion to help Sandy victims, but the House failed to pass a larger senate aid package because Speaker John Boehner prevented the vote following the fiscal cliff negotiations.

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