New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo makes the rounds on Capitol Hill Monday in an effort to secure aid for victims of Hurricane Sandy. He was joined by his state's congressional leaders from both sides of the aisle and the fight for dollars seems to be a smoother one when compared to years past.
"You know there's been a cultural shift," Republican Rep. Tom Reed said during a conference call with reporters. Reed says he's confident Congress will work together to dole out the $42 billion Cuomo requested without putting up a fight.
State leaders are asking for more than $32 billion in repair costs and another $9 billion in funds to help mitigate and prevent damages from future disaster. In total, Northeast governors are asking Congress to approve an $80 billion appropriation bill to help storm victims.
"The devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy is of unprecedented proportions, ranking among the worst natural disasters in our nation's history in terms of loss of life, property damage, and economic impact," Cuomo said in a released statement. "Working together, we will rebuild stronger and better than ever before, so New York is better prepared and has the infrastructure in place to handle future major weather incidents."
The White House Office of Management and Budget is expected to finalize its spending proposal for disaster relief and send it to Congress in upcoming weeks.
Yet, the budget request comes at an inopportune time for the White House as President Barack Obama must maneuver a way to cut costs to avoid the fiscal cliff.
Cuomo's meetings Monday included stops by the White House, meetings with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, House Speaker John Boehner, and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.
New York Democratic Sens. Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, as well as New York Republican Reps. Peter King, Bob Turner, and Michael Grimm also met with leaders to discuss the need for more aid.
"Images of the devastation New York suffered from Hurricane Sandy only tells half the story of this unprecedented disaster. I have spent day after day meeting with New York families whose lives have been shattered, their homes destroyed and businesses in rubble. New Yorkers are resilient, we bend but we do not break, but we can't do it alone," Gillibrand said. "The federal government has a clear responsibility to commit all of the necessary resources to help us rebuild."
The fight over emergency funding has a history of being an uphill climb.
In the aftermath of Hurricane Irene in 2011, House Republicans held disaster relief funding hostage asking that the costs to be offset with identical spending cuts. An aide in Boehner's office said they are waiting on the White House's spending request before they comment on whether they will ask for the funding to be offset.
So far, federal authorities have dished out upwards of $180 million to help victims of Hurricane Sandy, more money than was spent on Hurricane Irene.
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Lauren Fox is a political reporter for U.S. News & World Report. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can follow her on Twitter @foxreports.