Se­nate OKs stop­gap spend­ing bill, $1.1 bil­lion to fight Zika

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

The Se­nate on Wednes­day passed a bill to keep the gov­ern­ment run­ning through Dec. 9 and pro­vide $1.1 bil­lion in long-de­layed fund­ing to bat­tle the Zika virus. The sweep­ing 72-26 vote came af­ter top con­gres­sional lead­ers broke through a stale­mate over aid to help Flint, Michi­gan, ad­dress its wa­ter cri­sis. Demo­cratic ad­vo­cates for Flint are now sat­is­fied with Repub­li­can as­sur­ances that money for Flint will be fi­nal­ized af­ter the elec­tion.

The hy­brid spend­ing mea­sure is the last ma­jor item on Capi­tol Hill’s pre-elec­tion agenda and caps months of wran­gling over fund­ing to fight the mos­quito-borne Zika virus. It also in­cludes $500 mil­lion for re­build­ing as­sis­tance to flood-rav­aged Louisiana and other states.

The House was ex­pected to ap­prove the mea­sure.

The deal averts a po­ten­tial fed­eral shut­down and comes just three days be­fore the mid­night dead­line. It de­fuses a bat­tle over Zika spend­ing.

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