The Senate passed the emergency-spending bill for Hurricane Sandy relief efforts on Friday night.
The 62-32 vote came after the Senate worked all day Friday on amendments to H.R. 1, a vehicle to provide $60.4 billion to storm recovery efforts.
Republican Sens. Scott Brown (Mass.), Susan CollinsSusan CollinsCollins: I'm not working with Freedom Caucus chairman on healthcare Mexico: Recent deportations 'a violation' of US immigration rules White House denies misleading public in aircraft carrier mix-up MORE (Maine), Dean HellerDean HellerObama-linked group launches ads targeting Republicans on immigration Nevada Dem rep considering Senate run against Heller Vulnerable GOP senator faces rancorous town hall MORE (Nev.), John HoevenJohn HoevenHeitkamp raises .6 million for reelection bid: report Combating opioid epidemic, repealing ObamaCare will hurt the cause Senate panel considers how to fund Trump’s T infrastructure package MORE (N.D.), Lisa MurkowskiLisa MurkowskiTrump’s Army pick faces tough confirmation fight Republican Sen. Collins considering run for Maine governor in 2018 Alaska senators push bill to allow Arctic drilling MORE (Alaska), Richard Shelby (Ala.), Olympia Snowe (Maine), David VitterDavid VitterFormer senator who crafted chemicals law to lobby for chemicals industry Former GOP rep joins K Street lobbying firm Capitol Counsel Lobbying World MORE (La.), Dick Lugar (Ind.), Thad CochranThad CochranPicking 2018 candidates pits McConnell vs. GOP groups Overnight Defense: FBI chief confirms Trump campaign, Russia probe | Senators push for Afghan visas | Problems persist at veterans' suicide hotline Senators ask to include visas for Afghans in spending bill MORE (Miss.), Kay Bailey Hutchison (Texas) and Roger WickerRoger WickerPicking 2018 candidates pits McConnell vs. GOP groups McConnell’s shining moment As US healthcare changes, preventative screenings can't stop MORE (Miss.) voted with Democrats for final passage of the measure. Sen. Mark PryorMark PryorMedicaid rollback looms for GOP senators in 2020 Cotton pitches anti-Democrat message to SC delegation Ex-Sen. Kay Hagan joins lobby firm MORE (D-Ark.) was the only Democrat who voted against the bill, but he then changed his vote later Friday evening. The original vote was 61-33 — with his change it is now 62-32.
Some conservatives said the bill still contained unnecessary spending measures during a time when lawmakers are trying to make spending cuts.
“I don’t believe there is anyone in this chamber who doesn’t understand the devastating effect of Sandy on the Northeast,” Coats said before his amendment was voted on Friday. “But the bill offered by the other side throws out $60-plus billion to deal with future needs.”
Republican Sens. Scott Brown (Mass.), Susan Collins (Maine), Rand PaulRand PaulWe can put America first by preventing public health disasters Conservative activists want action from Trump McConnell: 'Big challenge' to pass ObamaCare repeal in Senate MORE (Ky.) and Olympia Snowe (Maine) voted against Coat’s alternative measure.
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.
The bill now heads to the House, where 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. If the House doesn’t act by Jan. 3, the Senate bill dies. The House will return to Washington on Sunday to continue work on a “fiscal cliff” deal. Democrats could push for the supplemental spending bill to be included in a final deal.
Senators advocating for the large spending package, said it was desperately needed because the Hurricane took place months ago.
Eight amendments were added to the bill Friday. Sen. Tom CoburnTom CoburnFreedom Caucus saved Paul Ryan's job: GOP has promises to keep Don't be fooled: Carper and Norton don't fight for DC Coburn: Trump's tweets aren't presidential MORE (R-Okla.) introduced a bipartisan amendment that passed. It would prohibit dead people and anyone with "serious delinquent tax debts" from receiving the any of the federal emergency funds.
Earlier Friday, Sen. Jeff MerkleyJeff MerkleyOvernight Regulation: Lawmakers look to delay labor board ruling Senate Dems offer bill to restore internet privacy rules Dem senator on Gorsuch: 'The dark deed is done’ MORE (D-Ore.) proposed an amendment that would have reauthorized fire and drought emergency funding for farmers and ranchers. But Sen. Jeff SessionsJeff SessionsDem lawmaker to Sessions: 'You are a racist and a liar' Top Trump officials push border wall as government shutdown looms DNC chairman slams Sessions for deportation comments MORE (R-Ala.) raised a budget point of order against that proposal, and the Senate failed to waive it in a 55-40 vote. That vote meant that Merkley’s proposed language would not have been considered emergency spending; as a result, he pulled his amendment.
The article was updated at 7:40 p.m.