Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, is considering offering amendments to allow storm victims to tap 401(k) retirement savings to cover unexpected expenses, waive federal wage requirements for contractors working on Sandy repairs and suspend a broad list of environmental and workplace regulations that might impede recovery, a Lee aide said.
Other Republicans are expected to offer proposals to scale back the cost of the package, largely by seeking to delay final decisions on longer-term projects until next year.
Not surprisingly, the White House came out in favor of the Sandy proposal, which largely mirrors a request it sent to Capitol Hill earlier this month, but did rule out some changes.
“The Administration looks forward to working with the Congress to refine the legislation and urges the Congress to pass a bill as soon as possible to give affected States and communities the support they need to recover and rebuild,” said a Statement of Administration Policy released Monday.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.