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Obama seeks USD 60.4 bn for Sandy recovery efforts

Posted on Dec 08, 11:20AM | IANS

President Barack Obama Friday asked Congress to approve USD 60.4 billion in additional federal funds for the recovery from Superstorm Sandy, which killed more than 130 people and caused massive damage when it slammed into the US in October.

The amount is less than the USD 82 billion requested by New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.

Even so, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New Jersey's Chris Christie welcomed the news.

"We thank President Obama for his steadfast commitment of support and look forward to continuing our partnership in the recovery effort," the two governors said in a joint statement.

Sandy is becoming the most expensive natural disaster to strike the US since Hurricane Katrina left most of New Orleans underwater in 2005.

The aid request comes as the White House and Republican congressional leaders are engaged in acrimonious talks over how to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff - a set of spending cuts and tax hikes due to take effect Jan 1.