House Passes $50 Billion Sandy Aid Package

    It still requires passage from the Senate, but a Tuesday evening House vote has brought relief funds one step closer to those affected by Superstorm Sandy.

    FOX News Radio's Jared Halpern reports from Washington:

    Audio clip:

    Two-and-a-half months after Superstorm Sandy's landfall, the House has approved a comprehensive - but pricey - disaster relief package, after agreeing to a more than $33 billion amendment pushed by Northeast lawmakers like New York Republican Peter King:

    (Rep. King) "This is not make believe.  I'm proud to stand for this bill.  It's absolutely essential."

    The total bill now tops $50 billion in housing and transit funding, plus some mitigation money aimed at preventing future damage.  Earlier this month, the House and Senate also signed off on a near-$10 billion boost to the National Flood Insurance Program.

    Shortly after the storm, governors from New York, New Jersey and Connecticut asked for $80 billion - that request pared down by the White House to $60 billion.

    Most Republicans did oppose this package, arguing much of the money is not for emergency needs.  South Carolina Republican Mick Mulvaney demanded spending cuts accompany the disaster funds.

    (Rep. Mulvaney) "We've mismanaged our own finances to the point where we are now no longer able capable of taking care of our own."

    In Washington, Jared Halpern, FOX News Radio.

    READ a joint statement from NJ Gov. Chris Christie, NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo and CT Gov. Dannel Malloy:

    "We are grateful to those members of Congress who today pulled together in a unified, bipartisan coalition to assist millions of their fellow Americans in New Jersey, New York and Connecticut at their greatest time of need. The tradition of Congress being there and providing support for Americans during times of crisis, no matter where they live across this great country, lives on in today's vote in the House of Representatives. We anticipate smooth passage when this package moves back to the Senate for final approval and for this long-awaited relief to finally make its way to our residents."