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hurricane sandy

Senate Passes $60 Billion Hurricane Sandy Bill

Kathy Lahey sifts through her damaged home for items to save November 4, 2012 in the Breezy Point neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. With the death toll currently over 100 and millions of homes and businesses without power, the US east coast is attempting to recover from the effects of floods, fires and power outages brought on by Superstorm Sandy.

Despite Republican efforts to whittle down President Obama's $60.4 billion Hurricane Sandy relief request to a mere $23.8 billion, Senate Democrats (with the help of 12 GOPers) managed to pass the bill almost virtually intact on Friday. The only concession Republicans were able to extract was $3.4 billion in spending cuts to offset some of the bill's provisions to mitigate damage from future storms. Yet obstacles remain — primarily uncertainty over whether the Republican-controlled House will sign off on the package. The House probably won't deal with the measure until very early next year (January 2), and their decision — like many things — will likely depend on the outcome of the eleventh hour fiscal cliff negotiations.

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Photo: Allison Joyce/Getty Images2012 Getty Images