U.S. Senate passes Sandy recovery bill Share This: UPI 12/29/2012 1:13:56 PM WASHINGTON, Dec. 29 (UPI) -- The U.S. Senate passed a bill providing $60.4 billion in emergency spending for Hurricane Sandy relief, officials said. The bill was approved on a 62-32 vote Friday, though some conservatives said they thought the bill had unnecessary spending at a time when the government is trying to make budget cuts, The Hill reported. "I don't believe there is anyone in this chamber who doesn't understand the devastating effect of Sandy on the Northeast," said Sen. Dan Coats, R-Ind., who offered an alternative bill with $24 billion in relief. "But the bill offered by the other side throws out $60-plus billion to deal with future needs." The Senate defeated Coats' bill with a 41-54 vote, The Hill reported. The House has until Jan. 3 to approve the emergency spending bill or it dies. House Republicans have said they'd prefer to address the spending package next year because the Federal Emergency Management Agency said it has enough funds for recovery efforts through the winter.