New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie plans to personally call lawmakers and push for the full $60.4 billion requested by the president to rebuild from Hurricane Sandy, rather than the $24 billion his fellow Republicans are proposing.
The Newark Star-Ledger
reports that Republicans on Capitol Hill claim that neither Christie nor Democratic New York Mayor Andrew Cuomo have provided enough details about their funding requests, despite visits both governors have made to Washington to lobby for funds.
Sen. Dan Coats of Indiana, a Republican on the appropriations committee, is behind the GOP effort to trim back the hurricane relief effort by offering amendments to the relief package now being considered in the Senate. Christie has called him, but he said they have yet to speak.
Another senator, Rob Portman, who is defending attempts to amend Obama's aid request, told reporters Republicans aren't "trying to block anything," but simply want "the opportunity to offer amendments."
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid plans to hold a vote that would effectively end debate on the aid package and block any attempts to amend it. But it takes 60 votes, which would have to include at least eight Republicans, in order to move the measure. Some Democrats worry that barring amendments could cause enough Republicans to vote against it.
Christie, however, may have more time to make his case against GOP attempts to amend the bill. It appeared Friday that action on the relief package would be put off until after the holidays.
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