Saturday, January 5, 2013


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First Sandy aid bill, of less than $10 million, clears Congress

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Senate and House approved a $9.7 million aid bill for Superstorm Sandy victims Friday afternoon. 

That’s viewed as little more than a down payment on the $60 million aid package that remains under sharp debate, but is not likely to come up again for at least another week.  Congress is taking next week off.

"Today's action by the House was a necessary and critical first step towards delivering aid to the people of New York and New Jersey”, said governors Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) and Chris Cristie (R-NJ), in a joint statement released late Friday.   “While we are pleased with this progress, today was just a down payment and it is now time to go even further and pass the final and more complete, clean disaster aid bill. We are trusting Congress to act accordingly on January 15th and pass the final $51 billion instrumental for long-term rebuilding in order for New Jersey, New York and our people to recover after the severe devastation of Hurricane Sandy."

House Speaker John Boehner has pledged to bring up the remaining $51 billion when the House returns next week. 

The measure still faces some debate, particularly from Republicans in the House who say the package contains many unrelated and unneeded but costly add-ons.