Mikulski: 'Clock is ticking' on 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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Mikulski said senators need to stop “fussing” over the budget.

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.

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

“I’m deeply frustrated by the inertia and parliamentary road blocks for nothing,” Mikulski said. “Let’s think of the people we were sent here to represent. We weren’t sent here to represent a bottom line, we were sent here to represent people.”

The Senate is continuing amendment work on the measure. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has said he wants to finish work on the bill this week, while House Republicans have said they want to take a longer look at the president's proposal to make sure there isn't any unnecessary spending.