Congress approves $9.7 billion in Sandy flood aid
|By ANDREW MIGA, Associated Press|
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.
The government already has spent about
Boehner has promised a vote
It was a more temperate response than was heard earlier in the week, when a livid Christie blistered House Republicans and Boehner himself for holding up the aid and other Republican figures from the region, as well as Democrats, cried "betrayal."
All of the "no" votes in the House were cast by Republicans, who said other government programs should have been cut to pay for the measure. As with past natural disasters, the Sandy aid proposals do not provide for offsetting spending cuts, meaning the aid comes at the cost of higher deficits.
The bill gives more authority to the National Flood Insurance Program to borrow money from the U.S. Treasury to pay claims. Premiums average about
Sandy is the most costly natural disaster since Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Northeast lawmakers have complained that while it took
The storm damaged or destroyed more than 72,000 homes and businesses in
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