The House of Representatives on Friday approved long-awaited disaster relief aid for Hurricane Sandy victims after near open rebellion by some Republican lawmakers against House Speaker John Boehner.
A two-thirds majority was required to pass $9.7 billion measure, a small fraction of the more than $60 billion that was on the table Tuesday night when House leadership quashed the vote. The final vote was 354-67, with the opposition coming entirely from Republicans.
The vote provides additional borrowing authority for the National Flood Insurance Program to pay out claims that arose from the October storm. The Federal Emergency Management Agency had warned the program would run out of money next week.
Boehner has promised a second Sandy vote on the remaining $51 billion in recovery money for Jan. 15.
Update: The bill cleared the Senate later on Friday and was headed for President Barack Obama’s signature.