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Mass. Democrats press for more Sandy aid

Jan. 14, 2013 at 8:42 AM

WASHINGTON, Jan. 14 (UPI) -- A group of Massachusetts lawmakers said they were pushing their congressional counterparts to provide relief for a fishing industry upended by Hurricane Sandy.

Three Massachusetts Democrats said they wanted to secure up to $150 million in disaster funding to help the fishing industry recover from the effects of Hurricane Sandy, a late 2012 storm that devastated the U.S. East Coast.

"Our fishing communities face real and stark economic concerns and this emergency funding is critical to many of their survival," said U.S. Reps. Bill Keating, John Tierney and Ed Markey in a joint statement. "We urge the Republican-led Rules Committee to recognize the issues facing these small business owners, and allow the House to vote on our amendments."

House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, was criticized by New York and New Jersey leaders for adjourning the previous Congress without taking up a $60.4 billion aid bill the Senate had passed to finance recovery efforts in the hurricane-battered states.

Boehner pledged to take up $51 billion in aid Tuesday in a deal that led to Congress approving $9.7 billion Jan. 4 so the Federal Emergency Management Agency could pay out claims to people with federal flood insurance.

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