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U.S. President Barack Obama (3rd L) hugs North Point Marina owner Donna Vanzant as he tours damage done by Hurricane Sandy in Brigantine, New Jersey, October 31, 2012. At left is New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. Putting aside partisan differences, Obam
Obama and Christie meeting with Sandy victims
As expected, the House of Representatives today approved, 241 to 180, an additional $50.7 billion in federal aid for states affected by Hurricane Sandy. Only 49 Republicans voted for the bill; 179 voted against. (The bill itself was for $17 billion in aid; the remaining $33.7 billion in aid was accomplished via amendment and approved by a 228-192 vote, consisting of 190 Democrats and 38 Republican crossovers.)

The aid approved today is in addition to the nearly $10 billion allocated earlier in the month, meaning that the total House package of $60 billion matches the previously approved Senate package.

So that's it. All that Republican drama, all the interest groups demanding Congress not allocate disaster relief, all the other groups demanding it not be done unless the budget is cut an equal amount first, and that one glorious day in which the ever-delaying John Boehner was the target of fuming soliloquies by Republicans such as New York Rep. Peter King and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie—done.

Why that took two and a half months to accomplish, who knows. Apparently House Republicans just had a whole lot of not doing stuff to work out of their system. Note, however, that the result again runs afoul of the Hastert rule, the GOP leadership promise that no bill will be brought to the floor without the support of a majority of Republicans; we'll see if any fallout comes from that.

4:50 PM PT: Tennessee Rep. Jim Cooper was the lone Democrat to vote against the bill.

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