$50.5B Sandy aid package clears Congress

Ayanna Diego looks over her living room while waiting for inspectors at her home, which was damaged by Superstorm Sandy, in the Rockaways section of New York, Thursday, Jan. 24, 2013. Not only was the basement flooded, but water leaked through the roof and damaged the higher floors as well. AP Photo/Seth Wenig

WASHINGTON Congress is sending a $50.5 billion emergency relief measure for Superstorm Sandy victims to President Barack Obama for his signature.

The Senate on Monday cleared the bill, 62-36. Northeast lawmakers say the money is desperately needed to help recovery efforts from the one of the region's worst storms. The House passed the bill two weeks ago.

The measure is aimed primarily at helping residents and businesses as well as state and local governments rebuild from the Oct. 29 storm. It passed despite opposition from fiscal conservatives worried about adding to deficits.

Sandy roared up the East Coast and has been blamed for more than 130 deaths and billions of dollars in residential and business property damage.

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