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House Approves $9.7B in Sandy Aid

Remaining $50-plus billion to be discussed in mid-January.

Less than 72 hours after failing to vote on a $60.4 billion Sandy aid bill, the House has approved a "scaled back" version of the bill, to the tune of $9.7 billion.

The bill allows Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to pay out insurance claims to those who held federal flood insurance.

According to the Associated Press:

Friday's 354-67 vote sends the bill to the Senate, which expects to pass the bill later in the day. All of the no votes were cast by Republicans.

Long Islanders sounded off earlier this week, blaming both sides of the political spectrum after the initial bill was ignored by the House, despite approval from the Senate.

CNN has reported that the remaining $50-plus billion will be discussed on Jan. 15.

New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie released the following statement regarding Friday's critical vote by the House of Representatives:

"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."

This story was last updated at 4 p.m. on Jan. 4.

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