COPY-House to vote on Superstorm Sandy aid today - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

COPY-House to vote on Superstorm Sandy aid today

WASHINGTON (WKOW) -- Many home and business owners affected by Superstorm Sandy could get insurance payouts soon.

The House votes on a bill today to replenish the National Flood Insurance Program. The Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, will run out of money next week.

FEMA runs the National Flood Insurance Program and says 140,000 Sandy related flood insurance claims have been filed and most have yet to be closed out.

Many flood victims have only received partial payments on their claims. The House will vote on a $9.7 billion bill to give aid to victims. But, that's only a fraction of the $60 billion in aid the Senate has approved.

The House adjourned earlier in the week before a vote, which set off a firestorm. WKOW reached out to Congressman Paul Ryan and Congressman Ron Kind about the issue. Congressman Ryan wasn't available for comment, but Congressman Kind says he was disappointed a vote did not take place earlier.

"There are certain people playing political games with disaster aid right now, which is really inexcusable when there is bi-partisan agreement up and down the coast that action needs to be taken," said Congressman Kind.

More than $2 billion in federal money has been spent on relief efforts for 11 states and the District of Columbia.

Superstorm Sandy was the most costly natural disaster since Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Some lawmakers wonder why it took just 10 days for Congress to approve about $50 billion in aid for Katrina, but that it hasn't provided aid for Sandy relief in more than two months.

The House is expected to vote on January 15 on another $51 billion measure in relief funds.

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