US House approves $1.7 billion in disaster aid for Carolinas

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WASHINGTON (AP) – The House has overwhelmingly passed legislation that would provide $1.7 billion to help residents of the Carolinas and elsewhere recover from recent natural disasters.

The aid was added to legislation to keep Federal Aviation Administration programs running beyond Sept. 30.

The bill passed 398-23 on Wednesday. It also requires that the FAA set minimum requirements for seat width and legroom on airplanes as lawmakers respond to complaints about cramped seating.

Lawmakers describe the disaster aid as a down payment. They say billions more will be needed in the months ahead to help communities devastated by Hurricane Florence.

Lawmakers are working to extend the FAA’s programs for five years while tackling other priorities such as disaster relief.

The Senate needs to pass the bill before it can be signed into law.

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