The United States Senate Monday night approved the long-awaited $50.7 billion emergency aid bill for victims of Hurricane Sandy in a 62-36 vote, The Hill reported.
The House approved the measure on Jan. 15. The Senate's approval sends the bill on to President Barack Obama, who already has agreed to sign it.
“I applaud my colleagues in the Senate for finally passing this critical aid package. Now, I eagerly await for the President to sign it into law which he said he will do," said U.S. Rep. Grace Meng, D-Flushing. "This funding is critical to helping our region’s neighborhoods, homeowners and small businesses get back on their feet, and now it’s one step closer towards reaching the hands of those who need it.”
The $50.7 billion in aid — along with a nearly $10 billion that Congress approved earlier this month — will help provide assistance to homeowners and business owners in the northeast who experienced losses as a direct result of the storm.
It also will provide money to states to repair subway and commuter rail systems, fix bridges and tunnels and reimburse local governments for emergency expenditures.
The bill does not include money for states outside the Northeast. But Republicans insisted that other weather-related disasters in other parts of the country should be dealt with at another time.
They also accused Democrats of stuffing the aid bill with ancillary pork spending, pressing the importance of how to offset the bill’s cost.