Congress Approves Hurricane Sandy Relief

(NECN/NBC News: Jennifer Johnson)- The House has approved $9.7 billion in additional aid to pay for flood insurance claims put forward by Hurricane Sandy victims, with more aid likely to come.

The vote was delayed earlier this week by House Speaker John Boehner, unleashing a storm of protest.

Some Republicans complained the program to help pay for these claims was out of money, adding to the debt.

The bill easily passed in both the House and Senate, but 67 House Republicans voted against it.

It's a down payment as another aid package totaling $51 billion that will be voted on Jan. 15.

It was an angry start for the 113th Congress, with more to come. Lawmakers have two months to tackle massive government spending cuts as part of the fiscal cliff crisis. Raising the debt ceiling in the next few weeks will be another showdown.

House Speaker Boehner told the Republican conference Friday he'll use that as leverage for more spending cuts.

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