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Senate passes bill to provide $1.1 billion to battle Zika

Staff Writer |
The Senate passed a bill to keep the government running through December 9 and provide $1.1 billion in funding to battle the Zika virus.

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The 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 also includes $500 million for rebuilding assistance to flood-ravaged Louisiana and other states.

The House is expected to approve the measure as early as Wednesday night and send it to President Barack Obama for his signature.

The House is also set to approve a water development projects bill after a compromise late Tuesday on a $170 billion Flint aid package.

The deal averts a potential federal shutdown and comes just three days before the midnight deadline. It defuses a lengthy, frustrating battle over Zika spending. Democrats claimed a partial victory on Flint while the GOP-dominated Louisiana delegation won a down-payment on Obama's $2.6 billion request for their state.

A provision to make Planned Parenthood ineligible for new anti-Zika funding for Puerto Rico was dropped, as was a provision to ease pesticide regulations under the Clean Water Act.


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