Natural Disasters

Senators Offer $23B Sandy Relief Package as Alternative to White House Plan

The president wants to shower his supporters in the northeast with $60B

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U.S. Senate Republicans sought to slash a $60.4 billion aid bill to cover reconstruction after Superstorm Sandy, proposing on Wednesday to fund only $23.8 billion in immediate disaster relief while assessing longer-term needs.

The far smaller initial amount is one of a number of Republican amendments aimed at cutting projects from a bill that they see as a "slush fund" loaded with questionable requests for spending on unrelated programs and big infrastructure.

Senator Daniel Coats of Indiana said his plan for $23.8 billion in initial funding would provide sufficient money for immediate needs through March 27, for work such as debris cleanup, repairing damaged equipment, rebuilding destroyed homes and businesses.