By a vote of 62-37 the Senate has passed the $7 billion FEMA relief bill to provide aid to the states across the country that have been ravaged by natural disasters this summer.
“It is a victory that still needs another step,” Senator Bob Menendez, D-NJ., said after the vote. “And I hope that the Senate sent a message to my House colleagues, particularly the Tea Party, that this is not a time to turn those people ravaged by the flood upside down once again by holding this legislation hostage.”
The bill will now go to the House of Representatives but faces a an uncertain future there. Republicans in the House have a different strategy for FEMA funding. They plan to attach disaster relief funding – about half as much – to a larger stop-gap spending bill that will fund the federal government through Nov. 18th, which contains their $3.65 billion in disaster assistance for FEMA. The House is expected to bring that larger government funding bill to the floor for a vote by Wednesday.
“That amount of money is not sufficient,” Senator Landrieu, D-La., said tonight of the House’s proposed funding in the CR adding that “FEMA is running on fumes.”