WASHINGTON, Dec 28 (Reuters) - The U.S. Senate on Friday approved a $60.4 billion aid package to pay for reconstruction costs from Superstorm Sandy, after defeating Republican efforts to trim the bill's cost.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid urged the Republican-controlled House of Representatives to quickly take up the bill.
Both chambers have to agreed on a package by Jan 2, when the current term of Congress is expected to end, or restart the process of crafting legislation in 2013.
The bill's chance s in the next few days could depend on whether President Barack Obama and congressional leaders reach a deal to avert t he 'fiscal cliff' of t ax in creases a nd spending cuts set to beg in kicking in the new year.
Republicans complain the $60.4 billion reconstruction package requested by Obama is more than the annual budgets for the departments of Interior, Labor, Treasury and Transportation combined. They have urged a slower relief approach based on a co ngressional assessment of needs.
The Congressional Budget Office has estimated about $8.97 billion of the S enate bill would be spent in 2013, with another $12.66 billion spent in 2014 and $11.59 billion spent in 2015
(Reporting By Doug Palmer; editing by Todd Eastham) Keywords: USA CONGRESS/SANDY
(email@example.com)(202 898 8341)
Copyright Thomson Reuters 2012. All rights reserved.
The copying, republication or redistribution of Reuters News Content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Thomson Reuters.