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Sandy aid: President Obama asks for $60.4B

President Barack Obama is asking Congress to authorize $60.4 billion in disaster aid to help states hit by Superstorm Sandy recover and rebuild.

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US President Barack Obama greets workers as he visits Cedar Grove Avenue on Staten Island to visit areas stricken by Hurricane Sandy in New York City on November 15, 2012. (MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

President Barack Obama is asking Congress to authorize $60.4 billion in disaster aid to help states hit by Superstorm Sandy recover and rebuild, CBS News reported.

The president’s plan does not cover everything states requested, the New York Times reported. The governors of New Jersey, New York and Connecticut have said the storm caused $82 billion worth of damage.

Among the items that the disaster funding won’t pay for, according to the New York Times: damage that private insurance will take care of, repair of secondary residences and assistance for large private companies like Consolidated Edison.

According to the New York Times:

The plan also assumes that states will have to pay about 10 percent of the cost of any repair and mitigation projects that are approved, even though they asked the federal government to foot 100 percent of the bills.

Yet, regional lawmakers welcomed the spending bill, USA Today reported. "While more may be needed in the long term, this robust package is a major first step that we will work to pass as quickly as possible," two House members from New York, Democrat Nita Lowey and Republican Peter King, said in a statement.

"Our committee will begin reviewing it immediately to ensure that the request is truly focused on the urgent needs of those impacted,” a House leadership aide told CBS News. “We will ensure that the necessary assistance is provided as expeditiously as possible. To the extent that the additional funding is focused on the emergency response to the disaster, under the reformed disaster funding process established last year, it would not need to be offset."

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/americas/united-states/121207/sandy-aid-president-obama-60-billion-congress