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Congress approves flood insurance aid; promises another vote on Sandy relief

11:19 PM, Jan 4, 2013   |    comments
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WASHINGTON -- House Speaker John Boehner is promising that lawmakers will vote later this month on a broader $51 billion package of aid for Superstorm Sandy victims.

The new Congress rushed out $9.7 billion on Friday to help pay flood insurance claims to 115,000 people and businesses affected by the storm.

New York Senator Chuck Schumer says it's a "small down payment" for what's needed. A political tempest was touched off when House Republican leaders sidestepped an expected vote on a $60.4 billion bill.

Some GOP lawmakers complained of pork projects unrelated to the storm. But the delay enraged lawmakers from the Northeast, including Republicans.

Sandy is the most costly natural disaster since Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

It damaged or destroyed 305,000 housing units in New York and more than 265,000 businesses. More than 72,000 homes and businesses were damaged in New Jersey.

The Associated Press

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