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House votes to add $50.5 billion in Hurricane Sandy relief aid


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"Disaster means disaster and emergency means emergency," LoBiondo said. "We were there for you, Florida, when you had your hurricane and God bless you if you think you are not going to have another hurricane."

New York Republican Peter King said, "We are pleading and we shouldn’t have to beg" for disaster aid.

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The $17 billion measure offered by House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers, a Kentucky Republican, includes $3.9 billion for the repair of publicly owned hospitals, local roads and facilities operated by gas and electric utilities.

It would provide $235 million to rebuild the flood-damaged Veterans’ Administration hospital in lower Manhattan as well as other VA medical facilities in the region.

The House defeated an amendment that would have offset the $17 billion through an across-the-board 1.63 percent cut in discretionary appropriations for fiscal 2013, including defense.

The $33.5 billion measure, sponsored by New Jersey Republican Rodney Frelinghuysen, would give the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers almost $4 billion to clear navigation channels, repair damaged beaches and prevent shore erosion in future storms.

Boehner decided not to proceed Jan. 1 on the aid plan just after the House voted to raise taxes on individuals earning more than $400,000 and couples earning more than $450,000. A number of House Republicans said the emergency aid should be offset by spending cuts, according to former Ohio Representative Steve LaTourette, a Republican who left office Jan. 3.




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