WASHINGTON - New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo emerged Monday from meetings with top administration officials and congressional leaders "optimistic" that Congress will act quickly to provide tens of billions of dollars to help his state recover from Sandy, one of the Northeast's most destructive storms.

"People are still reeling from this trauma and New York needs help," Cuomo said after meeting with Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Daniel Inouye (D., Hawaii); Sen. Thad Cochran (R., Miss.), senior GOP member; and Sen. Mary Landrieu (D., La.), who chairs its subcommittee on homeland security.

"New York has been there for other parts of the country when they needed help," Cuomo said. "We're asking for the same today. So far I'm optimistic."

President Obama is expected to send Congress his request for emergency Sandy recovery aid this week. The initial amount is certain to be less than the $42 billion that Cuomo is seeking for his state alone.

Cuomo began his day at the White House, then went to Capitol Hill for meetings with leaders of both parties.

Landrieu, whose state was devastated by Hurricane Katrina, said she would work hard to win more aid for East Coast states. "I'm going to step up for New York, New Jersey, and the East Coast," Landrieu said. "We know what a successful recovery needs."