The US House of Representatives on Wednesday approved a 6.1-billion-dollar package of tax breaks to help families recover from Hurricane Katrina which hit the Gulf Coast areas late last month.
The House passed the bill with a vote of 422-0 and the bill has been sent to the US Senate, where lawmakers hoped to quickly give their final approval.
The package offers tax assistance to people and businesses dislocated by Hurricane Katrina and expanded tax breaks for some charitable donations to help them.
The tax breaks waive penalties for hurricane victims who need cash for expenses and recovery and want to use money stashed in protected retirement accounts.
Also under the bill, families that rely on the child tax credit and the earned income tax credit could protect those benefits throughout job losses, residency changes and family separations caused by Hurricane Katrina.