Senate Nears Vote on $50.5 Billion for Sandy Victims

Local lawmakers are optimistic they have the 60 votes needed

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    Oct. 30, 2012: A street sign stands near apartment buildings which flooded and destroyed large sections of an old boardwalk in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

    Three months after Superstorm Sandy devastated parts of the densely populated Northeast, the Senate is nearing a vote on a $50.5 billion emergency relief bill to help storm victims recover.

    Some conservatives are complaining the bill will add to the nation's debt. But Northeast lawmakers in both parties are optimistic they have the 60 votes need to pass the bill Monday evening and send it to President Barack Obama for his signature. The House passed the measure two weeks ago.

    At least $16 billion would flow to state and local governments through grants from the Housing and Urban Development Department

    Sandy roared up the East Coast Oct. 29 and was blamed for 140 deaths and billions of dollars in property damage. Hardest hit were New York and New Jersey.