As with past natural disasters, the Sandy aid bill is not offset with spending cuts, meaning the aid adds to the deficit. The lone exception is an offset provision requiring that $3.4 billion for Army Corps of Engineers projects to protect against future storms be covered by an equal amount of unspecified spending cuts in other programs before next October.
The Senate on Monday rejected, 35-62, an attempt by Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, to amend the final package Monday with a provision to cut federal programs across the board by one-half of 1 percent through 2021 as a way to prevent the disaster aid from swelling the U.S. debt.
As of Monday, FEMA said it spent $3.3 billion in disaster relief money for shelter, restoring power and other immediate needs arising from the storm.
New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland, New Hampshire, Ohio, Delaware, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and the District of Columbia have shared that money.