Congress tied up in partisan knots over the most basic duty
WASHINGTON - Congress has completed its most elementary task - but only after an intense, weekslong struggle to reach a deal to fund the government just days ahead of a shutdown deadline.
The legislation extends existing spending levels a mere 10 weeks, past Election Day, while finally addressing the Zika crisis with $1.1 billion and providing long-sought help for the residents of Flint, Michigan, and flood victims in Louisiana. The legislation passed the Senate on a 72-26 vote and was backed by the House 342-85.
With the Capitol awash in election-year politics, shadowed by the contentious presidential race and engulfed in a fierce battle for control of the Senate, the simplest task became a nearly impossible heavy lift.