Conservatives and watchdog groups are mounting a 'not-so-fast' campaign against a US$50.7-billion Superstorm Sandy aid package that North-eastern governors and lawmakers hope to push through the House this week.
Their complaint is that lots of that money actually will go towards recovery efforts for past disasters and other projects unrelated to the late-October storm.
The measure bill includes US$150 million for what the Commerce Department described as fisheries disasters in Alaska, Mississippi and the Northeast, and US$50 million in subsidies for replanting trees on private land damaged by wildfires.
The objections have led senior House Republicans to assemble a US$17-billion proposal that, when combined with already approved money for flood insurance claims, is less than half what President Barack Obama sought and the Senate passed in December.
House Speaker John Boehner intends to let the House vote on both measures. He's responding both to Conservatives who are opposed to more deficit spending, and to Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York and Chris Christie of New Jersey who are irate that the House hasn't acted sooner.
The US$17-billion package will be brought to the floor by the House Appropriations Committee, and Northeast lawmakers will have a chance to add US$33.7 billion more.
Critics are taking the sharpest aim at US$12.1 billion in the amendment for Department of Housing and Urban Development emergency block grants.