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Obama signs $11.9 billion aid bill for Sandy victims

Published on Jan 7, 2013 6:01 AM
In a Dec 12, 2012 photo, fishing boats lie smashed against one another from Superstorm Sandy at the Belford fishing port in Middletown N.J. The port sustained nearly $1 million in damages, some of which its owners hope to recoup through federal storm aid. -- PHOTO : AP

WASHINGTON (AFP) - US President Barack Obama signed a bill Sunday approving US$9.7 billion (S$11.9 billion) in emergency disaster aid for victims of superstorm Sandy, after a delay sparked outrage among East Coast Republicans against their own party leadership.

Mr Obama signed the measure into law shortly after arriving back at the White House following his family vacation in Hawaii.

The new law provides the Federal Emergency Management Agency with funds to pay the flood insurance claims of thousands of victims of the killer late October storm that devastated coastal communities in New York, New Jersey and neighboring northeastern states.

It also boosts borrowing authority for the depleted National Flood Insurance Program, which is meant to cover the roughly 120,000 Sandy-related claims filed to date.

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