Obama signs off on $9.7 billion in Hurricane Sandy relief

(MCT) — President Barack Obama returned to Washington Sunday and signed the legislation authorizing $9.7 billion to aid victims of Hurricane Sandy.

Congress passed the measure Friday while Obama was vacationing with his family in Hawaii.

States hit hard by the October storm are seeking $60 billion in federal aid.

Northeastern lawmakers, still angry that the full package was sent back to the legislative starting line last week, expect a much tougher fight to get the rest of the money they want.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo have called the $9.7 billion “just a down payment,” and said in a joint statement: “It is now time to go even further and pass the final and more complete, clean disaster-aid bill.”

The $9.7 billion will replenish the National Flood Insurance Program, allowing the government to meet obligations to homeowners who paid for coverage.