Government shutdown looms as U.S. Senate votes down spending bill including flood funding

WASHINGTON, D.C. — A government shutdown on Saturday looms as a federal spending bill was voted down in the U.S. Senate on Tuesday afternoon.

The funding would have kept the government funded through Dec. 9, and included up to $500 million in flood funding for West Virginia and other states impacted by floods this year.

“Flooding is a national emergency. I’ve heard many members talk about the flooding in Louisiana and West Virginia and Texas,” said Sen. Shelley Moore Capito in a floor speech. “It is a devastating circumstance we find ourselves in the state of West Virginia.”

U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin criticized the failure to pass the legislation in a statement released following the vote.

ā€œIā€™m disappointed in my colleagues for failing to pass this critical legislation that addresses two of the most dire issues facing West Virginians ā€“ helping communities rebuild from natural disasters and providing additional funding to combat the opioid epidemic,” he said. “Although the flood waters have receded, West Virginians still have a great deal of work to do rebuilding homes, businesses, schools and communities.”

Manchin went on to call the bill’s failure a “sad result of broken system in Washington.”

Capito urged the bill’s passage, trying to convey to members how important the funding is.

“The legislation we will vote on today takes an important step to address flood recovery in disaster stricken portions of West Virginia, our friends in Louisiana and other parts of the country,” she said.

Members of Congress have until midnight on Saturday to work out a compromise.

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