The Senate started consideration this week of H.R. 1 as a vehicle to provide $60.4 billion to Hurricane Sandy recovery efforts, but some conservatives have said the bill brings up unnecessary spending measures during a time when lawmakers are trying to make spending cuts.

ADVERTISEMENT
Republicans raised a budget point of order on $3.4 billion of the bill because it would spend more money than was allowed by the Budget Control Act. Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) said some of the mitigation spending projects would then have to be offset by other cuts down the road. The motion to waive the budget point of order failed on a 57-34 vote — 60 votes were needed.

"The question before us is when we’re running trillion-dollar deficits, will we really add $60 billion more," Toomey said.

Republican Sens. Roy BluntRoy BluntFive takeaways from ObamaCare repeal’s collapse ObamaCare repeal: Now what? GOP senators: House agreeing to go to conference on ObamaCare repeal MORE (Mo.), Thad CochranThad CochranBoth sides of the aisle agree — telemedicine is the future Overnight Finance: GOP offers measure to repeal arbitration rule | Feds fine Exxon M for Russian sanctions violations | Senate panel sticks with 2017 funding levels for budget | Trump tax nominee advances | Trump unveils first reg agenda Senate committee ignores Trump, House budgets in favor of 2017 funding levels MORE (Miss.), Richard Shelby (Ala.), Olympia Snowe (Maine) and David VitterDavid VitterOvernight Energy: Trump set to propose sharp cuts to EPA, energy spending Former La. official tapped as lead offshore drilling regulator Former senator who crafted chemicals law to lobby for chemicals industry MORE (La.) voted with Democrats to waive the budget point of order.

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.

Sen. Dan CoatsDan CoatsIntelligence chairman accuses Obama aides of hundreds of unmasking requests Overnight Cybersecurity: Kushner says no collusion, improper contacts with Russia | House poised to vote on Russia sanctions | U.S., Japan to beef up cyber cooperation Trump intel chief: No agencies dispute Russian election meddling MORE (R-Ind.) introduced a Republican alternative to the bill, which would cost $24 billion. He said his version strips out spending that is unrelated to Hurricane recovery and non-emergency provisions. His bill will be considered as a possible amendment.

In October, Hurricane Sandy hit the Northeast, causing widespread damage in several states. New York and New Jersey were hit hardest, with thousands of people losing their homes.

“It’s been 50 days since Hurricane Sandy hit our shores,” Sen. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandSenators to Mattis: Don't ban transgender troops GOP senator forces Dems to vote on single payer OPINION | Democrats: Time to wish Hillary Clinton good luck and goodbye MORE (D-N.Y.) said earlier in the week. “We need to act swiftly.”

Republicans said they’re sympathetic to the victims but that they’d rather look more closely at spending. Coats said his bill would allow lawmakers to hold a hearing and pass another spending measure by the end of March.

House Republicans have said they’d prefer to deal with an emergency spending package next year since the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) said it has enough money to get through the winter.