President Barack Obama signs Sandy aid bill into law

Monday 07 January 2013 16.41
Sandy caused widespread damage across New Jersey and New York
Sandy caused widespread damage across New Jersey and New York

US President Barack Obama has signed into law a bill approving almost $10bn (€7.6bn) in aid for the victims of superstorm Sandy.

The storm killed 120 people and destroyed tens of thousands of homes late last year.

The measure passed the House of Representatives last Friday by 354 votes to 67, while the Senate approved the measure unanimously and without debate.

The new law will help the US government pay flood insurance claims.

Congress faced strong pressure to boost the debt-ridden flood insurance programme, which is the primary option for that type of coverage for US homeowners and businesses.

It has been under severe financial pressure for years from payouts related to big storms, such as Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

It was the first legislative action of the new Congress.

Politicians from both houses will debate $51bn (€39bn) in additional Sandy aid on 15 January.