Congress Passes Spending to Combat Zika Virus, Avoid Government Shutdown

Democrats in the Senate and House had vowed to oppose the CR until Republicans agreed to an aid package for Flint, a city of more than 100,000 people that has had lead-tainted drinking water for more than two years.

The committee on Monday had blocked an amendment proposed by Kildee to include the Senate's $220 million Flint package in the House's version of the legislation.

172 House Democrats and 170 Republicans voted for the spending deal, according to the roll call published by the Clerk of the House.

The stop-gap bill to fund the federal government through December 9 must now be passed in the House by Friday when the current annual budget expires. But they balked when GOP leaders inserted funds for Louisiana but refused to include long-overdue help for Flint in the same bill. That had left lawmakers facing responsibility for a government shutdown at midnight Friday, if they did not act. Zianna Oliphant's message about protests in Charlotte has spread, capturing the hearts and attention world-wide. "We shouldn't have to protest because y'all are treating us wrong". But House leadership came to the rescue Wednesday, reaching a deal to include Flint funding in the water-infrastructure bill when it comes to the floor after the November election.

The deal should "help unlock the continuing resolution in the Senate, which now I believe will be unstuck", House Speaker Paul Ryan said on Wednesday morning in remarks to the Economic Club of Washington, DC. Both chambers of Congress had aimed to approve the legislation so they could leave Washington for a six-week recess focused on campaigning ahead of the election.Ahead of the vote in the Senate, Sen.

Both Zika and flood relief funding were subject to long and painstaking negotiations between majority Republicans and minority Democrats, but it was funding for Flint that threatened to push matters past the brink with one month before Election Day. Senate Democrats protested a funding bill Tuesday for aid for Flint's water crisis.

The Senate is expected to try again Wednesday to pass a continuing resolution to keep the government open beyond Friday.

The House passed the bill 342-85 Wednesday night to keep the government funded through December 9.

A McDonough, Georgia, Walmart is facing a backlash after an employee refused to make a "Blue Lives Matter" cake for a retiring police officer, and the story is going viral.

"The final number would be negotiated in conference but at least we'd be able to avert a government shutdown this week", Moolenaar said.

During the House debate on the water provision, Michigan Democratic Rep. Dan Kildee, who represents the city of Flint and pleaded for months for Congress to help with resources to replace lead pipes and provide health services to sick residents, said "my constituents have been waiting for more than a year for the help they need".

McConnell has made numerous concessions in weeks of negotiations, agreeing, for instance, to drop contentious provisions tied to Zika funding that led Democrats to block previous Zika measures. Schumer told reporters Democrats would need Republicans to avoid sequestration cuts, balance spending equally between defense and nondefense areas and eliminate so-called "poison pill riders" that do not have bipartisan support.

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