Se­nate blocks stop­gap bill to pre­vent shut­down

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - NATION+WORLD -

The Se­nate on Tues­day stum­bled over a must-do bill to pre­vent the gov­ern­ment from shut­ting down this week­end and to fund the fight against the Zika virus. Democrats, de­mand­ing money so Flint, Mich., can ad­dress its lead-con­tam­i­nated wa­ter cri­sis, over­whelm­ingly op­posed the mea­sure, as did a dozen of the Se­nate’s most con­ser­va­tive mem­bers.

The 45-55 vote stalls the stop­gap fund­ing bill — for now at least — and is ex­as­per­at­ing top Repub­li­cans like Se­nate Ma­jor­ity Leader Mitch McCon­nell, who made sev­eral con­ces­sions to Democrats in weeks of ne­go­ti­a­tions over the mea­sure.

The GOP de­fec­tions left McCon­nell, R-Ky., short of a sim­ple ma­jor­ity, much less the 60 votes needed to clear a fil­i­buster hur­dle.

Repub­li­can lead­ers are promis­ing to ad­dress the Flint is­sue af­ter the elec­tion in a sep­a­rate wa­ter re­sources bill, but Democrats refuse to take them at their word.

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