Senate Approves Disaster Bill, Averts Shutdown

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Senators on Capitol Hill voted 79-12 Monday to pass a disaster aid measure, averting a partial government shutdown.

Democrats and Republicans had been deadlocked over how to give more disaster relief funds to the Federal Emergency Management Agency.  

Democrats said FEMA needed more money. Republicans wanted the FEMA funding to be offset by budget cuts.

However, on Monday, the agency announced it could make ends meet through the end of next week, allowing lawmakers to drop the $1 billion replenishment that had caused the gridlock.

The deal ensures there will be no interruption in assistance to areas devastated by natural disasters like Hurricane Irene.

"This compromise should satisfy Republicans...and it should satisfy Democrats," Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said.

The measure, which the House will likely pass, will keep the government running on a temporary basis through Nov. 18.

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