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Senate Approves Funding Bill To Avert Government Shutdown

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Senate Approves Funding Bill To Avert Government Shutdown

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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

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8 Comments

  1. Lynda Groom September 29, 2016

    Isn’t that special the good old boys and girls have managed to extend funding for a few more months. What a worthless bunch of overpaid and underworked public servants. I suppose that is what you can expect from a bunch sent to Congress to prove government does not work.

    Reply
    1. Daniel Jones September 29, 2016

      That’s why I have taken to calling them the Progress Stop of the United States of America.

  2. ashle.furey September 29, 2016

    I currently make approximately $6000-$8000 /month for freelancing at home. If you are prepared to work easy computer-based task for 2-5 h /a day from your living room and gain solid benefit for doing it… Then this work is for you… http://korta.nu/NDe

    Reply
  3. FireBaron September 29, 2016

    And now we will have to deal with a Lame Duck session of Congress. It will be especially telling if the GOP loses control of the Senate and the GOP moderates in the House have to depend further on the Democrats to get any bills passed, abandoning the Hastert Doctrine.

    Reply
    1. CrankyToo September 29, 2016

      This Congress, and the two previous, have been lame in the entirety, and in the extreme. So what’s the difference?

  4. bojimbo26 September 29, 2016

    So , the Repubs had their tantrum and had to release the money , otherwise they wouldn`t have been able to use their expense accounts .

    Reply
    1. dpaano September 30, 2016

      No, I think they were afraid they might have to stay in Washington rather than go home for another one of their MANY recesses!!! They take recesses more than President Obama plays golf!!

  5. dpaano September 30, 2016

    Finally, they’re coming to their senses! I don’t think they want to have another shutdown after the debacle of the last one!!!

    Reply

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