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Congress votes to expand borrowing authority for Sandy flood claims

Wayne Parry / AP

Piles of debris line portions of Route 35, the main highway through the shore in Toms River N.J. Friday, Jan. 4, 2012. Congress voted to approve aid for victims of Superstorm Sandy, but many shore residents were angry it took lawmakers so long to act following the Oct. 29 storm.

Reported by Tom Curry, NBC News national affairs writer

Responding to the insurance claims of property owners hit by last October’s superstorm Sandy, Congress voted Friday to approve $9.7 billion in additional borrowing authority for the National Flood Insurance Program, which covers property owners in flood-prone areas.

Elected officials in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut had assailed House Speaker John Boehner for not allowing a vote Tuesday night on additional funding for people affected by last October’s storm. Friday’s vote was a prelude to another vote on Jan. 15 to make additional outlays to cities, towns and property owners affected by the storm.

Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., blasts Speaker John Boehner and Congress for delaying action on a bill that would provide aid toward Hurricane Sandy relief efforts

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