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House leaders urged to consider more disaster aid

Need might become clear once full extent of damage is known, letter says.

A bipartisan group of 44 House members from New York, New Jersey and Connecticut wants Congress to provide disaster assistance beyond the $7 billion now available through the Federal Emergency Management Agency for damage caused by Hurricane Sandy, if needed.
 
In the letter to House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., released Monday the lawmakers wrote: "While the full extent of the damage caused by Sandy is still being quantified, it is clear that the recovery will be a long and costly challenge."
 
The letter notes the storm claimed nearly 100 lives. Furthermore, millions in the Mid-Atlantic lost their homes and millions more are without power, food and water. They also write that the Sandy wreaked havoc on the region's mass-transit systems and infrastructure.
 
"We understand FEMA may have the resources it needs at this time, but as the full brunt of Hurricane Sandy is quantified, Congress must stand ready to provide the aid and assistance to the people and communities most devastated by this storm," the letter says. "Any effort to ensure assistance is provided to those in need during these very difficult times would, we hope, receive strong, bi-partisan support."
 
The letter dated Thursday was circulated among members by Reps. Joe Crowley, D-N.Y., and Frank LoBiondo, R-N.J.