Senate passes spending bill with $500 million flood assistance
WASHINGTON - The Senate has passed a bill to keep the government running through Dec. 9, providing $1.1 billion in funding to battle the Zika virus and and $500 million to Louisiana flood aid.
The 72-26 vote came after top congressional leaders broke through a stalemate over aid to Flint, Michigan, to help the city 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.
The House is expected to approve the measure shortly and send it to President Barack Obama for his signature.
Senator Bill Cassidy applauded his colleagues for passing the measure.
“We’ve made a half a billion dollar down payment that will ensure these families have the resources they need to start recovering, rebuilding and prospering again," Cassidy said. "However, our work is not done, this is a down payment. The entire delegation will continue to press to make sure that every Louisianan has what they need to get their lives back. This is a good start.”