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Jan 12, 2013 11:16 AM by Associated Press

Sandy relief package swells aid for past disasters

WASHINGTON (AP) - Conservatives and watchdog groups are mounting a "not-so-fast" campaign against a $50.7 billion Superstorm Sandy aid package that Northeastern governors and lawmakers hope to push through the House this coming week.

Their complaint is that lots of the money will go toward recovery efforts for past disasters and other projects unrelated to the late-October storm.

The aid package includes $150 million for what the Commerce Department described as fisheries disasters in Alaska, Mississippi and the Northeast, and $50 million in subsidies for replanting trees on private land damaged by wildfires.

The objections have prompted senior House Republicans to assemble a $17 billion package that, together with already approved money for flood insurance claims, is well less than half what President Barack Obama sought and the Senate passed in December.

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