Nearly two weeks after reluctantly okaying $9.7 billion in relief funds for Hurricane Sandy victims, lobbying and lambasting has moved the House to pass the rest of the $50.7 billion emergency bill, which will help victims of the storm, the New York Times reported.
The bill passed 241 to 180, with 49 Republicans joining 192 Democrats. The Senate is expected to pass the measure, and President Obama has already expressed support for signing it. The $50.7 billion aid package comes in addition to the $9.7 billion package the House approved on Jan. 4.
The funds are intended to provide for homeowners who lost their homes or experienced severe damage to their property. It will also help business owners and reinforce shorelines, repair subway and commuter rail systems, fix bridges and tunnels, as well as reimbursing local governments.
However the total $60.4 billion worth of aid still falls far short of the estimated $82 billion in damage identified by the governors of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.
“It is unfortunate that we had to fight so hard to be treated the same as every other state has been treated,” Representative Peter King, a Republican from Long Island who urged his party to support the bill, said. [NYT] —Christopher Cameron