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Officials respond to House approval of $50.5 billion in Superstorm Sandy aid

Here's is how officials in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut reacted to the U.S. House of Representative's approval of $50.5 billion in emergency aid for victims of Superstorm Sandy:

"The desperately-needed relief in this bill will help families and individuals put their lives back together and assist in rebuilding transportation networks and public infrastructure vital to commerce and our quality of life. Small businesses, schools, health care facilities, and research institutions will have the support to restore vital services in their communities."

— U.S. Rep. Nita Lowey, D-N.Y.

"For our communities, families and businesses, the passage of Hurricane Sandy aid is much needed and long overdue. After already being made to wait 79 days, folks across the Hudson Valley will not have to wait any longer for this essential help."

— U.S. Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, D-N.Y.

"Tonight's vote to provide ... Hurricane Sandy relief was an outstanding victory for the people of New York, New Jersey and Long Island. It is unfortunate that we had to fight so hard to be treated the same as every other state has been treated. But we did fight this bias against the northeast and thank God our residents won."

— U.S. Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y.

"Recovery is about getting our nation's economy back on track, as well as allowing people to get their lives back in order. This bipartisan compromise should do just that."

— U.S. Rep. Joseph D. Courtney, D-Conn.

"This funding will never make up for the loss and devastation that was felt by so many throughout Staten Island and the region, but it can help restore some semblance of normality to lives that have been turned upside down."

— U.S. Rep. Michael G. Grimm, R-N.Y.

"It's great news for families, communities and small businesses in our region that the House — after weeks of delay — finally passed an emergency relief bill for Superstorm Sandy. Our region extends a helping hand any time another community suffers from a major disaster, and we're pleased that the House voted to provide this emergency relief for New Jersey and New York."

— U.S. Senators Frank R. Lautenberg, D-N.J., Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., Robert Menendez, D-N.J., and Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y.

"House passage of this package means we are one step closer to families returning home and businesses rebuilding so they can once again contribute to our economy. It also means our communities will receive flood protection so a similar storm won't produce similar destruction. I look forward to swift action in the Senate so we may move towards building a stronger New Jersey."

— U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr., D-N.J.

"We will fight to ensure that Connecticut families, businesses, and communities receive everything that they need to rebuild and to prevent future destruction, including investing in infrastructure, transmission systems, and flood control projects that will reduce damage and human tragedy after future storms."

— U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., and Chris Murphy, D-Conn.

"Months after residents, businesses and communities in New Jersey, New York and Connecticut were devastated by Hurricane Sandy, the House has approved the critical federal assistance needed to rebuild. While almost over, the delays South Jersey residents witnessed by Washington are inexcusable and unacceptable. A disaster means a disaster — not an opportunity to change midstream the process by which the government responds."

— U.S. Rep. Frank A. LoBiondo, R-N.J.

"There is an immediate need to rebuild and restore. In particular, our residents and neighbors need assistance with temporary housing and permanent home restoration. The Jersey Shore needs to be open for business by or near Memorial Day, or else many will suffer economic hardships, including losing jobs or businesses."

— U.S. Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J.

"The fact that so many Republican members have voted against this aid package, or worked to delay its passage these many weeks, is embarrassing and is a blot on the House of Representatives. To use this funding as a political pawn in a game over the role of government and budgetary debates is shameful. The first order of business for the federal government is to protect our citizens, and helping them recover from the tragedy of a natural disaster is one of those times."

— U.S. Rep. Eliot Engel, D-N.Y.

"For tens of thousands of New Jerseyans still struggling to recover from Hurricane Sandy, today's bill will make a real difference. But make no mistake: the process by which this bill was brought to a vote was needlessly prolonged and painful."

— U.S. Rep. Rush Holt, D-N.J.

"The tri-state area is an economic engine for the entire country, making our recovery a matter of national self-interest. Businesses will be heartened that funding for recovery and investment in upgraded infrastructure to avoid future damage will be forthcoming from Washington D.C."

— Kathryn Wylde, President & CEO of the Partnership for New York City