By Joseph Straw AND Dan Friedman
Congress members from New York and New Jersey have locked up "more than enough" Republican votes to pass $51 billion in desperately needed disaster aid for Hurricane Sandy, a key lawmaker revealed Friday.
But the support is so fragile, Rep. Peter King said he did not want to name the key supporters of the package because of concerns they might be pressured to change their votes.
Heading into the weekend, all House Democrats, all the Republicans from New York and New Jersey, and a Republican from Biloxi, Miss., had pledged to support the funding.
With those expressions of public support, King needs just four more yes votes to guarantee passage. Those are the supporters that King does not want to name.
House Republican leaders are keeping things interesting by entertaining amendments.
Conservative Republicans submitted more than 90 proposals Thursday and Friday to strip away some of the money from the $51 billion package.
Eight amendments submitted by Paul Broun (R-Ga.) alone target spending in the legislation that would protect against the next superstorm, including $86 million to guard Amtrak tunnels from flooding, and $19.5 million for an Army Corps of Engineers study on coastal protection.
The House Rules Committee will meet Monday to decide which of the amendments will advance to the floor for a vote.
King said he is confident the GOP amendments will fail and that the entire package will pass.
"I expect there will be enough votes to hold them back," he said.