but this time passage seems likely.
Republicans cleared the way for House action Tuesday on Hurricane Sandy disaster aid after the leadership stepped in to pare back scores of amendments that could have been problematic to passage.Of those amendments that will be allowed to come up for a vote, only one of them would truly imperil the aid package: an amendment authored by GOP congressman Mick Mulvaney of South Carolina and supported by House conservatives.
More than 90 amendments had been filed as of Friday but just a dozen will be made in order under a resolution reported by the House Rules Committee on Monday night following nearly four hours of testimony.
During House debate on this additional Sandy relief money, there will be one major vote on paying for this disaster aid, as a group of GOP lawmakers will ask for an across the board budget cut of 1.63% in all discretionary accounts for defense and domestic spending (not including Medicare and Social Security).Other than Mulvaney's poison pill, no amendments change the aid package enough to make it unlikely to pass the House. And because Mulvaney's poison pill is as toxic to many Republicans as it would be to Democrats, its prospects aren't good.
That would offset the cost of the $17 billion aid plan; the $33 billion in aid would basically be chalked up to the budget deficit, and not paid for, which has been the standard operating procedure for years when it comes to disaster spending.
Assuming Mulvaney's amendment fails, there should be enough Democratic votes for the measure to secure final passage. If and when that happens, it will be worth remembering that it will have passed despite opposition from a who's who of conservative groups, including Heritage Action, Americans for Tax Reform, and the Club for Growth—and that after the tax cliff deal, this would be the second consecutive defeat for conservatives.