US Sandy aid: Relief for stricken coastal states as House bill gets final approval

The US House of Representatives has passed Senate legislation to boost rebuilding efforts in areas devastated by Superstorm Sandy, as well as other disasters that occur in the United States in the future.

The Build Back Better Act, or “B-3”, was passed 398-22, and includes $50.5bn in aid for areas hit hard by Hurricane Sandy.

However, it is conditional on President Donald Trump signing the bill.

Also known as the Sandy aid bill, it was passed on Friday evening by the US Senate, thanks to bipartisan support.

Vice President Mike Pence has since been telling Trump the legislation is “absolutely worth supporting”, despite objections from some Republicans.

At least six people died in New York and New Jersey following the storm in October 2012.

When it was first introduced in 2013, it was far more modest, pledging just $20bn in funding. However, it was still passed with wide bipartisan support.

Mr Trump now has two days to take a position.

What was voted on?

The Sandy aid bill included emergency relief for residents in areas hit by Hurricane Sandy in 2012.

In addition, it includes further measures to aid rebuilding efforts in areas that have been affected by natural disasters that have occurred in the US.

The legislation was passed through the House by largely party lines, with Democrats in favour and Republicans opposing.

The biggest and most controversial element of the legislation was the $50.5bn in “rainy day” funding.

It requires the president to sign off on the final bill, but it is conditional on him signing off on the bill, specifically the $50.5bn in Hurricane Sandy funds.

How did the House vote?

Around 900 members of the US House of Representatives – most Democrats – voted in favour of the bill.

Republican MPs voted in favour of the measure with almost 90% of them in support.

Only two Republicans spoke against the bill during a House debate – Jack Kingston of Georgia and Phil Roe of Tennessee.

Is President Trump going to sign the bill?

It is too early to say, as the president has just two days to take a position.

‘B-3’ and ‘Sandy’ bill gets made law

Friday December 21, 23:15 GMT

Sunday December 23, 12:00 GMT

Monday December 24, 11:00 GMT

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