Obama asks $60.4B Sandy aid

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama has asked Congress to approve $60.4 billion in federal aid for New York, New Jersey and other states hit by Superstorm Sandy in late October.

The measure blends aid for homeowners, businesses, and state and local governments.

Most of the money — $47.4 billion — is for immediate help for victims and other recovery and rebuilding efforts. There's another $13 billion for preventive efforts to protect against future storms.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo calls the proposal "a powerful first step:" And New Jersey Gov. Chris Christi issued a statement with Cuomo thanking Obama for his "steadfast commitment."

The aid request could face challenges on Capitol Hill, especially from tea party House Republicans. Most of the lawmakers in affected districts are Democrats.

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