It’s been a long, convoluted journey, but a $51 billion Hurricane Sandy relief package has received the final go-ahead from the U.S. Senate, and will be on its way to victims on the Eastern Seaboard soon. The bill passed on a 62-to-36 vote, with 9 Republicans crossing the aisle to support it. Previously, the aid had been held up in the House, where fiscal conservatives initially threatened to forestall the bill, though it eventually passed, 241 to 180.

Tri-state politicians from both parties celebrated the vote. “Despite the difficult path in getting to this moment,” said New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, alongside New York and Connecticut Governors Andrew Cuomo and Dannel P. Malloy, “the Senate membership clearly recognized early on the urgency and necessity of approving the full aid package.”

(Photo: Kevin Burkett/Flickr)