Wisconsin delegation's vote on Sandy relief - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Wisconsin delegation's vote on Sandy relief

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (WKOW) -- Four Congressmen from Wisconsin were among the 67 House Republicans who voted against a Superstorm Sandy relief bill Friday.

The $9.7 billion bill supports FEMA flood insurance programs to be distributed to businesses and residents inundated by the storm. Specifically, the bill grants the National Flood Insurance Program additional borrowing authority to process 115,000 pending insurance claims.

The final vote was 354 to 67, with all the opposition coming from Republicans, and the Senate approved the bill unanimously.

The Senate passed a $60.4 billion bill which would provide aid for victims of Sandy last year. That bill, which matched the White House's emergency supplemental request, expired after the House refused to consider the legislation before the latest session of Congress ended this week.

The Wisconsin Congressmen who voted against it are Tom Petri, Jim Sensenbrenner, Sean Duffy and Paul Ryan.

Ryan and other conservatives have long demanded reforms to the National Flood Insurance Program, which is billions of dollars in debt.

Ryan also noted that much of the borrowing authority in the bill won't be available for years and that not all of it is directed at victims of Sandy.

Wisconsin Republican Congressman Reid Ribble did not vote and Democratic Congressmen Mark Pocan and Ron Kind voted for the bill.

The relief today will be followed by another vote for additional relief for the region once the House reconvenes the week of Jan. 14. After the votes today, lawmakers from the area quickly began to shift their attention to that money.

"We need the House to pass not only the $9 billion dollars they passed this morning, but the $51 billion that contains the bulk of the aid that people need, without which we will not be able to recover," Schumer said.  "To be a bride and be left at the altar once is bad enough.  To be left twice would be unconscionable."

Sandy caused damage along the U.S. east coast more than two months ago.

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