Debris is piled near a beach-side business in Seaside Heights, N.J., Thursday, Jan. 3, 2013, that was damaged by Superstorm Sandy. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a Republican who has praised President Barack Obama's handling of Superstorm Sandy, has blasted U.S. House Speaker John Boehner for delaying a vote for federal storm relief. Under intense pressure from angry Republicans, House Speaker John Boehner has agreed to a vote this week on aid for Superstorm Sandy recovery. The speaker will schedule a vote Friday for $9 billion for the national flood insurance program and another on Jan. 15 for a remaining $51 billion in the package, Republican Rep. Peter King of New York said after emerging from a meeting with Boehner and GOP lawmakers from New York and New Jersey. (AP Photo/Mel Evans) (Mel Evans)
Crews work work to replace the Superstorm Sandy destroyed boardwalk in Seaside Heights, N.J., Thursday, Jan. 3, 2013. Under intense pressure from angry Republicans, House Speaker John Boehner has agreed to a vote this week on aid for Superstorm Sandy recovery. (AP Photo/Mel Evans) (Mel Evans)
WASHINGTON - 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.
Friday's 354-67 vote sends the bill to the Senate, which expects to pass the bill later in the day. All of the no votes were cast by Republicans.
The bill gives more borrowing authority to the National Flood Insurance Program to pay about 115,000 pending claims.
Northeast lawmakers say the money is urgently needed for victims of one of the worst storms ever to strike the region. Boehner set Friday's vote after sparking controversy with a decision to delay House action on a broader Sandy aid package.