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House Approves Massive Hurricane Sandy Relief Package

Rothfus and Murphy vote against the $50.5 billion plan, which now moves on to Senate for action.

The U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday approved a $50.5 billion relief package for the victims of Hurricane Sandy, ending weeks of political wrangling between Democrats and Republicans.

U.S. Rep. Keith Rothfus, R-Sewickley, and U.S. Rep. Tim Murphy, R-Upper St. Clair, were two of the 179 House Republicans who voted against the emergency relief package. The bill passed 241-180.  Rothfus also voted against $9.7 billion in relief aid earlier this month while Murphy voted in favor. 

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy — all of whom were sharply critical of the Congressional delay — released the following statement regarding Tuesday's passage of the disaster relief package by the House of Representatives:

“We are grateful to those members of Congress who today pulled together in a unified, bipartisan coalition to assist millions of their fellow Americans in New Jersey, New York and Connecticut at their greatest time of need.  The tradition of Congress being there and providing support for Americans during times of crisis, no matter where they live across this great country, lives on in today’s vote in the House of Representatives.  We anticipate smooth passage when this package moves back to the Senate for final approval and for this long-awaited relief to finally make its way to our residents.”

The House approved the aid in two parts - $17 billion in funds to cover immediate disaster relief needs and $33.5 billion in longer-term reconstruction funds, according to Reuters.

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