After the U.S. House of Representatives overwhelming passed 9.7 billion in Sandy aid Friday, 354-67, the Senate unanimously approved it later that afternoon.
The money will go towards flood insurance claims for Sandy-damaged homes and businesses.
A vote on the remaining $51 billion in storm aid will take place January 15.
“Belated as the bill may be, I am pleased the House was able to finally act today on a piece of the vital Superstorm Sandy disaster relief legislation to increase borrowing authority by FEMA on behalf of the National Flood Insurance Program. This action, however, is woefully insufficient in addressing the significant concerns and needs of millions affected by last fall’s storm,” said Congressmember Gregory Meeks.
“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. 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,” said Governors Andrew Cuomo and Chris Christie in a joint statement.
Today’s approval came after several politicians publicly criticized Speaker John Boehner earlier this week for adjourning the House before voting on the $60 billion Sandy relief package.
Following the criticism, Boehner promptly scheduled a vote on the legislation.
President Obama, who urged the House to vote and pass the aid money, is expected to sign today’s approved bill.