Reid urges swift action of emergency-spending bill for Sandy victims

The Senate started consideration this week of H.R. 1 as a vehicle to provide $60 billion to Hurricane Sandy recovery efforts, but some conservatives have said the bill has unnecessary spending measures, during a time when lawmakers are trying to make spending cuts.

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In October, Hurricane Sandy hit the northeast hard, affecting several states and their infrastructure.

The Obama administration has called for a $60.4 billion package and the Senate version fulfills that request. Republicans have questioned why there is some money for things such as Head Start centers, transportation improvements and park clean up, among others.

Reid admitted that some lawmakers are trying to include funding for those recovering from wildfires in the West, but that the Senate “needs to get our priorities right,” adding that more than 7,000 people in New York and New Jersey alone have lost their homes.

“We’ve had some terrible wildfires in the West but relatively speaking, it doesn’t compare to the damage to these people in this storm,” Reid said. “We need to get our priorities right."

Reid said he hopes the package is completed in the next day or two. He also said Republicans might offer a substitute package.

The House has said they'd like to take their time with the spending package to make sure there isn't any unnecessary spending.