Members of the House of Representatives voted today on a relief package for the victims of Hurricane Sandy. $50 billion in aid is at stake.
It seemed like it would have been an easy choice, but nothing is easy in Washington.
"$16 billion is to quintuple the size of the Community Development Block Grant program. That's the slush fund that pays for such dubious projects as doggy day care centers and it doesn't even have to be spent in the hurricane area."
Rep Tom McClintock (R-CA) said, "Two billion dollars is for highway repairs anywhere in the country including up to $20 million each for Guam, American Samoa and the Mariana Islands that aren't even in the same ocean as hurricane Sandy."
OutFront tonight: Congressman Tim Huelskamp (R-KS).
(CNN) It's been 79 days since Superstorm Sandy ravaged the Northeast, and still, some people in the New York City area are without heat and hot water. A simple thing like grabbing a midnight snack out of the refrigerator remains elusive for some people.
I saw the struggle firsthand over the weekend when my fiance and I took a volunteer shift to help some homeowners edge back from the brink. We were in Red Hook, a neighborhood in Brooklyn known for its industrial waterfront, taco trucks, Ikea and in recent years, its artists and artisan foods.
FEMA funds are quickly drying up here in this "Zone A" area, a high-risk designation that means flood insurance is limited and incredibly expensive if it's available at all.
Many neighborhood staples are still struggling - from the 40,000-square-foot Fairway supermarket, which remains closed, to the mom and pops that line the Main Street here known as Van Brunt. FULL POST
"The master of disaster" – That's how Time magazine is referring to Chris Christie this week. The New Jersey governor has seen a big bounce in approval ratings after his handling of hurricane Sandy and today he told NBC his recent outbursts over aid has nothing to do with politics.
"Sandy is and was above politics in every other element except what happened in the congress a week ago." Christie said, "And so what I was trying to point out very clearly was there are people suffering in New Jersey, there are people suffering in New York, they need to be taken care of, Remember this Matt, we've now waited seven times longer than the victims of Katrina waited for federal aid."
But some of Christie's democratic colleagues say he is taking advantage of the situation. New Jersey state senate president, Steve Sweeney blasted Governor Christie saying "I guess he prayed a lot and got lucky that a storm came."
Sweeney apologized immediately after that comment, but it raises the question, can you fault a politician for leading in a time of crisis?
OutFront tonight: NJ State Senator Stephen Sweeney. FULL POST
House approves a nearly $10 billion aid package to Sandy victims. Is it too Little, too late? That's how Congressman Frank Pallone (D-NJ) is describing the relief package.
But Pallone and other lawmakers in New York want 60 billion dollars. House Speaker Boehner says a vote on the remaining 51-billion will happen on January 15th.
But representative Pallone says that's not good enough and he is Outfront.
Are we ready for the next super storm? A team of CNN reporters and producers have spent the past three months investigating the power and aftermath of super storm sandy.
As it turns out, we came dangerously close to never receiving the early warning of widespread flooding and power outages.
OutFront tonight: CNN Meteorologist Chad Myers with a preview of "The Coming Storms" - airing Sunday, 8p ET.