WASHINGTON (January 4, 2013)--The new Congress passed a $9.7 billion bill Friday to help pay flood insurance claims to residents whose homes and businesses Superstorm Sandy damaged.
The bill, which cleared the Senate following passage earlier Friday by the House, replenishes the National Flood Insurance Program that was due to run out of money next week, which would have left about 115,000 Sandy-related claims as well as 5,000 from other floods unresolved.
The late October storm ravaged the coast from North Carolina to Maine, with the worst flooding occurring in New York City and its suburbs, Atlantic City, N.J., along the Connecticut coastline.
Votes are planned later this month on another $51 billion aid package.
The government already has spent more than $2 billion as part of the emergency response to the storm.
The House approved the bill by a 354-67 vote.
All of the no votes were cast by Republicans including Central Texas lawmakers U.S. Rep. Bill Flores, R-Bryan and freshman U.S. Rep. Roger Williams, R-Weatherford.
U.S. Rep. John Carter, R-Round Rock, voted for the measure.