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US Congress passes partial aid package for Sandy victims

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US Congress passes partial aid package for Sandy victims
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A financial package to help victims of Superstorm Sandy has been passed by US Congress, although a quarter of Republican members voted against it.

The money, 9.7 billion US dollars – about 7.4 billion euros – is only a fraction of the original figure, and many are angry that a vote on the remaining 50 billion dollars has been delayed by Republican House Speaker John Boehner until the January, 15.

Sandy caused an estimated 71 billion dollars worth of damage to New York and New Jersey on the east coast of America at the end of October – and those affected are tired of waiting for help.

“This is a strong middle class working area and we pay our taxes. It’s time that the people in this community in Breezy Point see some of that support from the government,” said Cody Doran, grandson of a Breezy Point homeowner.

There is suspicion that partisan politics played a part in the decision to only approve one sixth of the original figure, and fears that the January, 15 vote may also be affected.

“I feel that we are a blue state, and all the Congressmen from the red states postponed not because of us, but because of our political affiliation here,” said New York homeowner Ralph Petagna.

Sandy, which claimed more than 130 lives, is said to be second only to 2005’s Hurricane Katrina when it comes to economic damage caused by natural disasters in the US.