Countdown to relief?

As politicians in Washington, D.C., struggle to avoid the "fiscal cliff," they're also weighing another important matter: a $60.4 billion supplemental appropriations bill (H.R. 1) aimed primarily at providing relief for Northeast states hit by Superstorm Sandy.

The Senate voted 62-32 on Friday to pass the bill.

Now it's up to the House. Time is short. The bill dies without action before the new Congress is seated Thursday.

So what does Alaska care?

The bill includes $150 million in aid for fishery disasters the Commerce Department has declared this year in several states and territories including Alaska, for its recent poor Chinook runs.

Some say the Sandy bill is loaded with questionable items, such as "$150 million for fisheries as far away from the storm's path as Alaska."

Alaska Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski is just fine with using the Sandy bill as a vehicle for Alaska relief.