In a 62-36 vote, the Senate on Monday approved legislation providing $50.7 billion to help New York, New Jersey and other states hit by Hurricane Sandy. 

All 36 "no" votes came from Republicans. GOP Sens. Lamar AlexanderAndrew (Lamar) Lamar AlexanderSenate Health Committee chair asks Cuomo, Newsom to 'stop second guessing' FDA on vaccine efficacy The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Goldman Sachs - Two weeks out, Trump attempts to rally the base McConnell aims for unity amid growing divisions with Trump MORE (Tenn.), Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsTrump expressed doubt to donors GOP can hold Senate: report Murkowski says she will vote to confirm Barrett to Supreme Court on Monday Biden's oil stance jars Democrats in tough races MORE (Maine), Thad CochranWilliam (Thad) Thad CochranObama endorses Espy in Mississippi Senate race Espy wins Mississippi Senate Democratic primary Bottom Line MORE (Miss.), Dean HellerDean Arthur HellerOn The Trail: Democrats plan to hammer Trump on Social Security, Medicare Lobbying World Democrats spend big to put Senate in play MORE (Nev.), John HoevenJohn Henry HoevenDavis: The Hall of Shame for GOP senators who remain silent on Donald Trump Bottom line Bipartisan senators seek funding for pork producers forced to euthanize livestock MORE (N.D.), Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiSenators battle over Supreme Court nominee in rare Saturday session Murkowski says she will vote to confirm Barrett to Supreme Court on Monday McConnell tees up Barrett nomination, setting up rare weekend session MORE (Alaska), Richard Shelby (Ala.), David VitterDavid Bruce VitterBottom line Lysol, Charmin keep new consumer brand group lobbyist busy during pandemic Bottom line MORE (La.) and Roger WickerRoger Frederick WickerBipartisan group of senators call on Trump to sanction Russia over Navalny poisoning Senate Republicans offer constitutional amendment to block Supreme Court packing Government efforts to 'fix' social media bias overlooks the destruction of our discourse MORE (Miss.) voted "yes." 

The House had already approved the measure, so the Senate action sends the bill to President Obama, who has said he will sign it. 

The bill will reach Obama several weeks after supporters had hoped Congress would sign off on the measure. The House did not approve a similar measure in the last days of the previous Congress. 

“It was three months ago that Superstorm Sandy blew up the East Coast,” Sen. Charles SchumerChuck SchumerTrump expressed doubt to donors GOP can hold Senate: report Trump announces opening of relations between Sudan and Israel Five takeaways on Iran, Russia election interference MORE (D-N.Y.) said on the floor Monday evening before the vote. “Sandy’s wrath was wide and it was deep. Nearly 300,000 families had their homes damaged. ... We can’t wait any longer, because nothing about this was a game for those families.”

ADVERTISEMENT

 The House passed its bill earlier this month in a bipartisan 241-180 vote. 

Unlike a bill approved by the Senate in the last Congress late last year, the House measure did not include money for states outside the Northeast. 

Some Democratic senators complained on Monday that the bill they were approving was not as good as the previous measure. 

“This is not perfect, but it’s a very sound bill,” Senate Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Barbara MikulskiBarbara Ann MikulskiForeign policy congressional committees need to call more women experts Lobbying World Only four Dem senators have endorsed 2020 candidates MORE (D-Md.) said. “The bill passed by Senate was by far a superior bill ... but let’s not make the perfect the enemy of the good.”

Republicans argued that separate weather-related disasters in the West should be dealt with separately and not lumped in with this bill. They also accused Democrats of adding “pork” to the bill last December.

“We have a habit of throwing money at things under an emergency category,” Sen. Dan CoatsDaniel (Dan) Ray CoatsAvoiding the 1876 scenario in November Democrat asks intelligence director if Trump's personal debt is security problem FBI chief says Russia is trying to interfere in election to undermine Biden MORE (R-Ind.) said. “We simply can’t afford to keep doing this.”

Before final passage, the Senate rejected an amendment from Sen. Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeePence adviser Marty Obst tests positive for COVID-19 Two Loeffler staffers test positive for COVID-19 End the American military presence in Somalia MORE (R-Utah) that would have offset the recovery spending by decreasing federal discretionary spending by 0.49 percent for nine years. 

“People have suffered as a result of this storm. My heart goes out to them,” Lee said. “[But] we must also consider how our actions here might have other implications down the road. We have to consider that we are more than $16 trillion in debt.”

Lee’s amendment was defeated 35-62. 

“We have already delayed this further than we should have because we’re arguing about offsets,” Sen. Mary LandrieuMary Loretta LandrieuBottom line A decade of making a difference: Senate Caucus on Foster Youth Congress needs to work to combat the poverty, abuse and neglect issues that children face MORE (D-La.) said. “It has already been three months. ... We should not use disasters to push ideology, and that’s what the other side has been doing.”

Both chambers approved a $9.7 billion bill earlier this month for the National Flood Insurance Program to handle claims related to the storm, bringing the total recovery package to more than $60 billion — the amount the Obama administration originally requested.

The House bill included H.R. 219, which makes changes to disaster assistance intended to allow faster disbursement of disaster aid.