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>> All those in favor say aye.>> Aye.>> The US Congress avoiding the looming government shutdown late Wednesday, passing a temporary funding bill and providing urgently needed money to fight the spread of the Zika virus. The agreement hinges on ending a month's long deadlock over federal aid for Flint, Michigan.
House lawmakers approved the legislation shortly after Republicans and Democrats agreed on another bill containing $170 million to help the city with its contaminated drinking water crisis. The stopgap funding also includes $1.1 billion to battle Zika. Still less than the 1.9 billion originally requested by President Obama earlier this year and 500 million for flood relief in Louisiana and other states.
The bill's approval comes just days ahead of Friday's midnight deadline. Congress, which goes on recess this week, will still have to reconcile it with somewhat different legislation passed by the Senate after the November 8 elections. The budget deal will keep the government operating until December 9th, when law-makers will try to approve longer term funding.