Reid 'hopeful' Senate will pass House Sandy aid bill quickly

Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry ReidDems see surge of new candidates Dems to grind Senate to a halt over ObamaCare repeal fight GOP fires opening attack on Dem reportedly running for Heller's Senate seat MORE (D-Nev.) said Tuesday that the Senate could swiftly move to pass a $50 billion Hurricane Sandy aid bill that passed the House last week.

The House bill is very similar to one passed by the Senate last year. That bill was shelved in the waning hours of the last Congress by Speaker John BoehnerJohn BoehnerJuan Williams: GOP fumbles on healthcare The Hill's 12:30 Report The new dealmaking in Congress reveals an old truth: majority wins MORE (R-Ohio), earning him ire from New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) and a members of the GOP conference from the Northeast. 

ADVERTISEMENT
Reid said that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellRocky rollout for Senate healthcare bill Overnight Healthcare: Latest on Senate healthcare bill | Four conservatives say they'll oppose | Obama slams bill | Health groups offer scathing criticism Sanders: I hope McConnell listened to protesters outside his office MORE (R-Ky.) was polling his members Tuesday to try to get unanimous consent to move to the bill. Such consent would clear a week or more of procedural hurdles. 

“He had to meet with his caucus first,” Reid said. “That is going to be our first item of business. It is long overdue. I am hopeful and cautiously optimistic that we can do some out of here soon.”

“I’m trying to do that today,” he said. Sources expect the bill by the end of the week.

Sen. Ben CardinBen CardinOvernight Cybersecurity: Trump tweetstorm on Russia probe | White House reportedly pushing to weaken sanctions bill | Podesta to testify before House Intel Senate expected to pass Russia sanctions bill for a second time Donna Brazile: Congress has duty to halt Trump on Russia sanctions MORE (D-Md.) said that the GOP was working to see if there are any amendments.

“I think they are waiting to see whether the Republicans will get the consent to bring it up and whether there will be any amendments,” he told reporters.

The Senate last year passed a $60.4 billion Hurricane Sandy bill by a vote of 61 to 33. That bill included $9.7 billion in National Flood Insurance Program funding, which earlier this month passed the Senate as a separate bill. 

The $50 billion House bill was a tough lift for GOP leaders. It passed on a 241 to 180 vote, with 49 Republicans joining 192 Democrats.