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Cuomo meets with Washington lawmakers to request Sandy relief aid

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Albany/HV: Cuomo meets with Washington lawmakers to request Sandy relief aid
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Gov. Andrew Cuomo made his first trip to Washington D.C. as governor Monday to request assistance in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. YNN's Erin Billups has the story.


Cuomo joined a procession of lawmakers headed to Washington to lobby for their battered states. New Jersey's Chris Christie will make the trek down later this week.

"All the meetings we had today were positive," Cuomo said. "I was surprised that people really understand the scope of damage."

Cuomo first met with senior officials at the White House.

The Administration is expected to send Congress its supplemental bill -- a request for disaster aid -- sometime this week.

Cuomo then made his way to Capitol Hill for back to back meetings with House and Senate leaders.

"We spoke about the scale of the damage, which is just devastating," he said. "People are still reeling from this trauma. New York needs help and New York has been there for other parts of the country when they've needed help and that's what we're asking for -- the same."

Cuomo is seeking aid from the federal government to cover more than $40 billion in damages from Sandy and for needed prevention measures.

He also met briefly with a bi-partisan group of the state's congressional delegation.

"When we come together and we play together and we focus, no one can beat our game. I believe that," Cuomo said. "So to have them all united on this is a significant, significant asset for the state of New York."

New York's lawmakers still have a tough job ahead. The timing of the aid request coincides with the contentious fiscal cliff negotiations.

The key will be winning support for the bill in the Republican-led House. This puts New York's Republican members in a unique position of influence.

Reps. Michael Grimm and Bob Turner from the city and Rep. Peter King from Long Island all took part in Cuomo's meeting with House Speaker John Boehner.

"Basically what the Speaker said was that New York needs money and once the request comes from the White House it'll be analyzed and the Speaker wants to move it as quickly as possible," King said.

Cuomo said Boehner expressed a desire to get a disaster aid bill through Congress before the end of the year.

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