The Daily Gazette
The Locally Owned Voice Of The Capital Region

House needs to act on Sandy relief

U.S. Rep. Paul Tonko, D-Amsterdam, is urging his Republican colleagues to address a $60 billion Hurricane Sandy relief bill that recently passed the Senate.

Passed with 63 votes in the Senate, the relief package includes about $47 billion for immediate relief, including money to rebuild public infrastructure and help people displaced from their homes. The remaining portion of the package includes money to invest in preventative measures, including fortifying the mass transit system in the Northeast.

Republicans have been critical of the funding to limit future damage, but House Republican leaders have not specifically said how they'll act.

"It is long past overdue for the House to pass a Sandy relief bill," said Tonko, whose district was spared any serious damage from the storm. Parts of his current and former district are still rebuilding from the damage of last year's Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee.

"When other areas of the country experienced disasters and needed help recovering, New York was there." he said. "Now we need a hand. I hope the House will take up this bill immediately and without delay upon returning to Washington. We cannot afford to play political games and wait any longer."

Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., has urged House leaders to put a bill forward.

The House was expected to return to session today to potentially pass measures to avert the "fiscal cliff," but only if the Senate took action.

Material from the Associated Press was used for this post.

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