The House on Wednesday approved a bill to fund the federal government through December 9, averting a costly shutdown two days ahead of the deadline.
The 10-week bill, which passed comfortably 342 to 85, now heads to the president’s desk and sends lawmakers back to their district early for campaigning.
A majority of the Republican conference backed the bill, with just 75 Republicans opposing it. Ten Democrats voted against the bill.
Lawmakers agreed to keep federal agencies running through Dec. 9, while also funding a $1.1 billion emergency aid package to halt the spread of the Zika virus. Flood-stricken regions in Louisiana, West Virginia and Maryland will also receive a half-billion dollars.
The months-long marathon to fund the government turned into a sprint Wednesday as lawmakers raced toward the exits. The pre-election adjournment comes just a few weeks after Congress was out of session for a two-month summer recess.
The Wednesday evening vote caps a dramatic 24 hours of deal-making led by House SpeakerPaul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). Both chambers signed off on the stopgap spending bill, just one day after the same bill was soundly rejected in the Senate.
The bill collapsed in the upper chamber on Tuesday mostly due to Democrats’ gripes about Republicans leaving out money to deal with lead contamination in Flint, Michigan while agreeing to fund flood relief in other states.
The dispute over Flint funding was swiftly – and quietly – resolved late Tuesday evening by Ryan and Pelosi, who huddled twice to work out an agreement.
House GOP leaders agreed to waive a budget rule to put $170 million for Flint in a separate water resources bill in exchange for Democratic support to clear the continuing resolution.
A bipartisan amendment authorizing the Flint aid sailed through the House Wednesday afternoon on a 284-141 vote.So now the House bill will go back to the Senate and we're not out of the woods yet, It's still possible that Mitch and company could sink this bill again, or that Ted Cruz could step in and wreck the whole deal.
We'll see. Less than 48 hours now.