The $51 billion federal emergency aid bill for states affected by Hurricane Sandy as of Monday evening stands only five votes short of passing, the Daily News reported.
The 113th Congress has gained eight more Democratic votes as new members of the House have been sworn in. As of Monday night, the appropriation had the support of every House Democrat and every Republican House member from New York and New Jersey, leaving it just five GOP votes short.
Now, GOP House members from New York and New Jersey are focused on making the calls and the visits to pull in the final five.
The aid – money to help homeowners and small businesses as well as repair bridges, tunnels and transportation systems – originally was folded into the fiscal cliff package that passed last week.
However, early disagreement between House GOP and Democratic leaders surrounding the amount of Sandy aid that should be allocated was enough to convince temporarily, in effort to avoid stalling the larger deal.
Boehner’s decision sparked outrage amongst representatives in the eastern states affected by Sandy, including Republicans. Now that the chamber’s attention has returned to passing a Sandy aid bill, getting those final five GOP remains a challenge.
The Senate, which is controlled by Democrats, is expected to pass the measure.