WASHINGTON, Jan. 4 (Xinhua) -- Amid growing anger over its inaction, the U.S. House of Representatives on Friday passed a 9.7- billion-dollar legislation that would make payments to insurance claims related to Hurricane Sandy.
The bill to allow the National Flood Insurance Program to increase its borrowing authority by 9.7 billion for Sandy relief was approved by the Republican-controlled House with overwhelming bipartisan support, passing the chamber with a 354-67 vote.
The bill was the first of two steps House Speaker John Boehner said he would take to meet the demands of relief for those affected by Sandy. He also promised a vote on Jan. 15 to provide over 50 billion dollars of aid.
The federal government has handed the Congress a sweeping relief bill that would provide over 60 billion dollars to those affected by Sandy, which struck late last year. The Senate has already passed it, but the House has failed to act on it. Boehner and House Republicans were criticized by Democrats and Republicans alike for its inaction.
Sandy made landfall in New Jersey late October in 2012, causing widespread damage in 24 states, killing over 100 people and causing at least 60 billion dollars of damage. The Senate on Dec. 28 of 2012 approved the emergency relief bill put forward by President Barack Obama.