A measure providing $51 billion for relief and recovery from Hurricane Sandy was approved by a bipartisan majority in the House Tuesday Night.
Inside the bill included 16 billion dollars in Community Development Block Grant funds that are earmarked for natural disasters that occurred in 2011, 2012, and 2013.
The bill now goes to conference committee where the differences between the House and Senate versions will be ironed out.
The Senate version of the bill included 400 million in CDBG funds, a significant difference from the House Bill.
When a final number is decided on by Congress and the bill is signed by the President, communities affected by disasters will be able to apply for a portion of the CDBG funds.
Senator Heidi Heitkamp was in Minot this week talking with city leaders about the flood recovery efforts.
Heitkamp says with Minot's vast unmet needs, CDBG funds can go a long way in helping the city recover.
(Senator Heidi Heitkamp, (D) North Dakota) "The person affected in Minot is no different than the home that was affected in Hurricane Sandy. Each one of those people are Americans. Each one is entitled to our sympathy and our help when natural disasters hit and I think it makes us very sympathetic, given to what we've experienced in North Dakota, very sympathetic to what's happened in Sandy. It doesn't diminish the need and the help that individuals have right here in Minot.
Heitkamp says the Federal Government also needs to take a close look at expanding the capabilities of helping individuals, as many who were hit the hardest by the Mouse River Flood don't qualify for individual assistance with CDBG funds.