The House has overwhelmingly approved $9.7 billion to pay flood insurance claims for the many home and business owners flooded out by Superstorm Sandy. The vote came more than two months after the storm hit and days after Northeast Republicans erupted over House Speaker John Boehner's decision to delay an earlier vote. Today's 354-67 vote sends the bill to the Senate, which expects to pass the bill later in the day.
The bill gives more borrowing authority to the National Flood Insurance Program to pay about 115,000 pending claims. The House will vote Jan. 15 on an additional $51 billion in recovery money. All of the no votes were cast by Republicans. The Club For Growth, a conservative group, urged lawmakers to oppose the bill, saying that Congress should only approve Sandy aid in installments to make sure the money is wisely spent and that any new Sandy aid should be offset with spending cuts elsewhere.