The U.S. House of Representatives approved a $9.7 billion package to recharge FEMA flood insurance funds Friday.
The funds will replenish the agency’s flood insurance program and ensure aid will continue to go to recipients affected by Superstorm Sandy.
The vote in the new Congress comes after House GOP leadership pulled the plug on a vote on a $60.4 billion aid package earlier this week for New Jersey and other states affected by Sandy.
The last-minute decision not to post the bill for a vote spurred an outcry of criticism from tri-state area officials and lawmakers, including Gov. Chris Christie, who said New Jersey residents were treated “like pawns on a chess board.”
FEMA warned it would run out of flood insurance dollars early next week unless Congress acts to recharge the flood insurance.
Since the House failed to take up the aid bill prior to the new Congress, the proposal will now go to the Senate for a vote.
The House is expected to vote on the second half of the Sandy relief aid on Jan. 15.
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"Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto, a Hudson County Democrat, is balking. He claimed Tuesday that members of his caucus are divided over the measure and that his house is in no real rush – besides, even if enacted this year, the reforms would not take effect until 2017, he said. And with the growing belief that Christie could skip town to run for president, some Democrats are not eager to give him another talking point for his résumé. Christie’s plans to stump for Republican candidates in New Hampshire later Thursday only fuel that suspicion." - columnist Charles Stile- The Bergen Record
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