Colby Hamilton, Writer, WNYC News
Colby Hamilton is a general assignment reporter. He originally joined WNYC as a political blogger. He's a proud graduate of the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism.
The US Senate is scheduled to return Wednesday after the Christmas break to vote on the $60 billion Sandy aid package by Friday. But the bill’s passage in the Senate is only one the first step, with time running out.
Last week’s vote to end debate in the Senate all but guarantees the bill will pass largely unchanged, despite Republican concerns over spending and a GOP-backed bill to cut the aid by two-thirds.
The House will need to move quickly to take up the Senate’s bill. House aides say it will be up to Speaker John Boehner and the House GOP leadership to make that happen. Boehner’s inability to unite House Republicans behind his plan to avoid the fiscal cliff have Congressional sources worried that the Sandy bill is furthest from the Speaker’s mind.
The House’s inability to act would put the bill’s ultimate success in peril, multiple sources noted. The new session will mean the bill would need to be passed by the Senate all over again, without any certainty over what would happen in the lower chamber.