The National  Memo Logo

Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

By David Morgan and Richard Cowan

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Senate approved a stop-gap funding bill to avert a looming federal government shutdown on Wednesday, after Republicans and Democrats agreed to help Flint, Michigan, resolve its drinking water crisis.

Lawmakers voted 72-26 to adopt the short-term continuing resolution, or CR, that would keep federal agencies operating from Saturday to Dec. 9. The vote sends the measure on to the House of Representatives, which also was expected to approve it.

Without an extension, many government agencies would run out of money when the federal fiscal year ends at midnight EDT on Friday.

The bill also includes $1.1 billion to combat the Zika virus and $500 million for flood relief in Louisiana and other states.

Democrats in the Senate and House had vowed to oppose the CR until Republicans agreed to an aid package for Flint, a city of more than 100,000 people that has had lead-tainted drinking water for more than two years. Senate Democrats initially rejected the bill in a procedural vote on Tuesday.

A breakthrough came when Republicans pledged to support passage by year’s end of separate legislation helping the city of Flint, Michigan recover from a long-running water crisis that has exposed children and other residents to lead contamination.

Earlier, Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan and Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi reached the deal late on Tuesday, hours after a piece of legislation known as a continuing resolution (CR) aimed at avoiding the shutdown failed to garner enough votes to advance in the Senate.

Conservative groups urged Congress to defeat the funding bill. But with House and Senate members eager to go home to campaign for re-election, the measure appeared headed toward passage.

Under the deal reached between Ryan and Pelosi, the House will vote on Wednesday on an amendment to a separate water resources bill that would provide a $170 million aid package for Flint. A Senate version of the bill contains $220 million for Flint and other cities with problem water systems.

Once passed by the House, the two chambers would hammer out compromise legislation after the Nov. 8 elections. The Flint money would be contained in that measure.

(Reporting by Richard Cowan and David Morgan; Writing by Doina Chiacu; Editing by Bernard Orr and Alan Crosby)

iMAGE: The top of the Flint Water Plant tower is seen in Flint, Michigan February 7, 2016.   REUTERS/Rebecca Cook/Files

Advertising

Start your day with National Memo Newsletter

Know first.

The opinions that matter. Delivered to your inbox every morning

Crime scene outside Cincinnati, Ohio where state police shot FBI attacker Ricky Shiffer

Youtube Screenshot

Ricky Shiffer was like a lot of MAGA “patriots,” often proclaiming his willingness to die for Donald Trump. Like seemingly all Trump fans, he was outraged that the FBI served a search warrant on the ex-president’s Florida estate, eager to declare “civil war” on “the Deep State.” Shiffer was such a True Believer that on Thursday, he tried to attack the FBI office in Cincinnati, Ohio, and ended up dying next to a cornfield a few miles away.

Shiffer believed he was dying a martyr to the cause. But his only reward was for the community of terminally online Trumpists with whom he spent his time to immediately denounce him as a “crisis actor” who had performed a “false flag” operation with the sole purpose of smearing MAGA people by association.

Keep reading... Show less

Former President Donald Trump

Youtube Screenshot

Most Americans have long believed former President Donald Trump perpetrated multiple felony offenses both before and after entering the White House, according to opinion surveys — and yet those same citizens have also assumed that Trump would never be held accountable. But just at the moment that his escape from the law no longer seems quite so certain, the Republicans have almost all fallen into line behind him like lemmings.

There can be little doubt that the former president is in deep legal trouble. To evade the law, he is employing his usual tactics, from slick spin to torrential lying to feigned outrage to threats of mob violence, but mostly delay.

Keep reading... Show less
{{ post.roar_specific_data.api_data.analytics }}