Congress OKs $9.7B in Sandy aid

Associated Press

WASHINGTON

The new Congress on Friday rushed out $9.7 billion to help pay flood insurance claims to 115,000 people and businesses afflicted by superstorm Sandy, two days after New Jersey’s governor and other Northeast Republicans upbraided Speaker John Boehner for killing a broader package for state and local governments in the storm’s path.

The bill replenishes the National Flood Insurance Program that was due to run out of money next week with the pending Sandy- related claims as well as 5,000 unresolved claims from other floods.

“It’s a small down payment on the larger aid we need,” said Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. The legislation cleared the Senate by a voice vote after passage by the House, 354-67.

The government already has spent about $2 billion on the emergency response to the late October storm, one of the worst ever in the Northeast.

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