In considering the Sandy aid package, the speaker was caught between conservative lawmakers who want to offset any increase in spending and Northeast and mid-Atlantic lawmakers determined to help their states.
More than $2 billion in federal money has been spent so far on relief efforts for 11 states and the District of Columbia struck by the storm. The Federal Emergency Management Agency's disaster relief fund still has about $4.3 billion, enough to pay for recovery efforts into early spring, according to officials.
New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland, New Hampshire, Delaware, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and the District of Columbia are receiving FEMA aid.
Sandy was blamed for at least 120 deaths and battered coastline areas from North Carolina to Maine. New York, New Jersey and Connecticut were the hardest hit states and suffered high winds, flooding and storm surges.
Associated Press writer Donna Cassata contributed to this report.
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