Presidents Obama asks Congress for storm aid package

Superstorm Sandy

Presidents Obama asks Congress for storm aid package

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New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo tweeted: "Would I like to see more money? The answer is yes... $60B is a very positive & healthy start."

He was referring to the $60.4 billion in emergency Hurricane Sandy aid that President Obama requested in this letter to Congress. It's not the $80 billion New York and New Jersey wanted, but it's a start.

"This is the first good news New York has and in a while and we certainly need it because we have had enough bad news as everybody knows," Cuomo said.

The money would be split up between New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut, although New York and New Jersey would receive the lion's share for reconstruction, small business loans, and local costs.

"The request is crafted to afford maximum flexibility to state governments and we will continue to work with the administration and congress as our needs arise," Cuomo and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said in a joint statement. 

"It's not everything we wanted, but it's close enough," Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., said in an interview, the AP reported. "Our goal is to get this done by Dec. 31."

The emergency funds will likely be proposed as a separate bill on Capitol Hill, not to be included in the year-end fiscal cliff package that President Obama is negotiating with congressional leaders.

That raises questions about how quickly congress will approve the money.

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