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Obama signs bill for Sandy flood insurance claims

A family and its two dogs is living in a mobile home in the Broad Channel section of Queens while it repairs its house, which was damaged by Hurricane Sandy.

Seth Wenig/Associated Press

A family and its two dogs is living in a mobile home in the Broad Channel section of Queens while it repairs its house, which was damaged by Hurricane Sandy.

WASHINGTON — President Obama has signed into law a $9.7 billion bill to pay flood insurance claims from Hurricane Sandy, the White House said Sunday.

The law increases the borrowing authority of the Federal Emergency Management Agency. FEMA had warned that it was set to run out of money without additional dollars from Congress.

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The White House said more than 100,000 flood claim payments from Sandy would be delayed without the additional money.

The House has yet to act on a larger, more comprehensive Sandy aid package. Republican leaders did not bring the bill to the floor before the last session of Congress adjourned.

House Speaker John Boehner has promised a vote Jan. 15 on that $51 billion package, and Senate leaders have promised a vote the following week.

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Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey has been viewed as a nonpartisan advocate for federal aid since the storm hit Oct. 29.

He embraced Obama’s visit to the Jersey Shore six days before the election, praising the president’s handling of the disaster and inciting criticism from conservatives.

And last week Christie denounced Boehner for delaying a vote on the larger storm aid package. Christie said he tried to call Boehner four times Tuesday, but none of the calls was returned.

Christie’s office received 800 e-mails in the hours after his news conference about Boehner, mostly positive.

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