Sandy Aid Bill Threatened By 'Poison Pill' Amendments

The House Republican leadership vowed late last year that their first order of business in the new Congress would be passing a comprehensive relief bill for victims of Hurricane Sandy. The first component of that relief -- roughly $9 billion to extend the borrowing authority of the tapped-out National Flood Insurance Program -- sailed through Congress on Jan. 4.

That was the easy part. This week, a second, far more expensive bill authorizing $51 billion in additional Sandy aid is scheduled to come to the House floor for a vote. But the bill is under attack from fiscal conservatives, who have sought to attach dozens of amendments that threaten to sink the bill's chances of passing the Senate.

On Monday evening, the House Rules Committee attempted to sort through these amendments and get the bill cleared for a full House vote. But some Northeast Republicans, like Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.), were already venting their frustration at the 'poison pill' amendments, many of which seek to offset the spending on storm relief with cuts elsewhere.

"Obviously, some of them would kill the bill," King told The Hill.