The U.S. Senate Monday approved a delayed $50.5 billion relief bill for victims of Hurricane Sandy, three months after the storm hammered New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, damaging or destroying hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses.
The measure now goes to President Obama, who has promised to sign it.
The money includes grant funding for owners of homes and businesses, as well as funding for public improvement projects on the electrical grid, hospitals and transit systems to prevent damage from future storms, CNN reported.
The 62-36 vote came after senators turned back an attempt to require budget cuts elsewhere to offset the cost of storm relief, a proposal that further irked several members.
"For decades, taxpayers from New York have sent their money when disasters occurred, with fires on the West Coast or floods in the Missouri and Mississippi valleys or hurricanes in Louisiana and Florida," said Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. "We've sent our tax dollars, billions of them — and now, all of a sudden, some are suggesting we should change the rules when we are hit by the first major disaster to hit the New York City region in a very long time. That's not fair. That's not right."
New York has estimated its storm-related costs at nearly $42 billion. New Jersey's estimated losses totaled about $37 billion.