President Barack Obama has signed into law a bill to release $9.7 billion for a flood insurance program to aid victims of Hurricane Sandy, NY 1 reported.
The bill allows Federal Emergency Management Agency to pay out insurance claims to those who held federal flood insurance.
"Providing relief to Americans in their time of need should not be a partisan issue and I’m glad that these crucial funds will finally start to flow to the thousands of New Yorkers who desperately need it," U.S. Rep. Grace Meng, D-Flushing, said. "For those who continue to suffer, this aid cannot come quick enough.”
The remaining $50-plus billion in Hurricane Sandy aid will be voted on in Congress on Jan. 15.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie released a statement Friday regarding the House's vote on the bill.
"While we are pleased with this progress, today was just a down payment and it is now time to go even further and pass the final and more complete, clean disaster aid bill," the statement read. "We are trusting Congress to act accordingly on Jan. 15th and pass the final $51 billion instrumental for long-term rebuilding in order for New Jersey, New York and our people to recover after the severe devastation of Hurricane Sandy."