A bill funding $51 billion in emergency aid for Hurricane Sandy's aftermath finally passed the House on Tuesday night. It went through on a 241-180 majority, with 179 Republicans voting against.
The bill will fund repairs to damaged transit in NY and NJ and will also provide funds directly to storm victims.
The vote has been a long time coming. Three weeks ago, Republicans from northeastern states - those hit by Hurricane Sandy - slammed Republican House leadership for its failure to pass the bill before the holidays.
Conservatives were critical of the bill, calling it a "grab-bag of spending." Tea Party-linked House members wanted to add an amendment guaranteeing that other programs would be cut to pay for Sandy relief, but it was voted down by other Republicans plus most Democrats. Republican Tom Cole, who opposed the amendment, urged that "we have never [tied spending offsets to emergency aid] in the past in a disaster, and we certainly shouldn't do so now."