Obama says he'll sign $50.5B Sandy aid bill soon

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Associated Press

Posted on January 29, 2013 at 1:33 AM

Updated Tuesday, Jan 29 at 1:33 AM

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama says he'll sign a $50.5 billion emergency measure for Superstorm Sandy victims as soon as it lands on his desk.

Obama chided lawmakers for taking their time to approve the funding even as he commended them for providing the long-awaited aid.

Conservatives concerned about adding billions of dollars to the nation's debt opposed the measure, but the Senate cleared the bill Monday, 62-36. Earlier this month House Republicans had stripped the bill of spending unrelated to disasters.

Northeast lawmakers said the money is urgently needed to start rebuilding from the Oct. 29 storm. Sandy is one of the worst tempests to strike the Northeast. It's blamed for more than 130 deaths and tens of billions of dollars in property damage, particularly in New York and New Jersey.

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