A $60 billion emergency funding bill to pay for damage caused in the Northeastern part of the country by superstorm Sandy will likely get caught up in the wider deficit-reduction debate dominating the agenda in Washington.
Democratic leaders say they want the bill done by the end of the year to provide aid to the millions of people affected by the late October storm, without the spending offsets Republicans favor. Meanwhile, Republican lawmakers said the cost of the bill should be scrutinized, the Wall Street Journal reports.
"Sixty billion dollars at this time when we're trying to solve the deficit problem...That's an awful big bite to swallow," said Arizona Sen. Jon Kyl, the Republican whip, told the Journal.
Some Republican lawmakers have insisted on the need to find spending cuts to pay for the billions in federal aid for Hurricane Sandy victims.
"This country can't continue spending money that they don't have," said Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), in a Politico story. "So rather than go borrow the money, we ought to say, 'What's a lower priority than helping the people of Sandy?' And that's how we ought to do it."