Sandy Aid Bill Moves with Uncertainty to the House

With the Senate passing the $60 billion Sandy aid package by a vote of 61-33 on Friday, attention is now turned to the U.S. House of Representatives and the uncertainty brought on by the fiscal cliff deliberations dominating the Capitol.

House aides on both sides of the aisle are in a wait-and-see approach ahead of their next scheduled meeting of the chamber on Sunday.

The big question is how House Speaker John Bohener and Republican leaders will handle the Senate-approved bill. Sources say Republicans from the Sandy-hit states are working behind the scenes to keep the bill from being sucked into the fiscal cliff fray.

Sources say area Republicans believe the bill will pass the House if it is brought to the floor for an up-or-down vote. They will try to keep the bill from going through the amendment process. That may prove difficult considering the calls for cuts to the $60.4 billion bill some conservatives have said is laden with pork.

If the bill is not signed into law by the end of this session of Congress on January 2, the entire process must start all over again, as un-passed bills from previous sessions must be re-introduced. Supporters of the bill worry that delays will reduce the sense of urgency, possibly grinding recovery efforts to a halt.