UPDATED: Obama Signs Bill That Provides $9.7 Billion in Superstorm Sandy Aid

by Connor Ryan
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Government employee cutting down tree.

nycstreets, flickr

Another vote expected on January 15 for close to $50 billion in additional Sandy aid.

The House and the Senate passed legislation Friday that would put $9.7 billion toward covering flood insurance claims made by victims of Superstorm Sandy. The House overwhelmingly passed the bill this morning, 354 to 67. President Obama signed the bill into law on Sunday afternoon.

The White House has said that more than 100,000 flood claim payments would have been delayed without the bill's assistance, according to the Associated Press.

"[The people affected by Sandy] have been suffering," Rep. Gregory Meeks, a Democrat from New York's fifth congressional district, announced to the House minutes before the vote. "They have suffered long enough. They need to hear from their government and [know] that their government is with them just as it has been with everybody else in this country. I, for one, wherever the disaster may be, want to say that we have to support them."

Today's vote comes three days after House Speaker John A. Boehner initially tabled the bill. The delay has received criticism from Republicans in New York and New Jersey.

Another vote for close to $51 billion in additional Sandy aid will be brought to the House on January 15. Senate leaders have promised to vote on that bill the following week.

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