U.S. Senate Approves Measure for $58B in RI Disaster Relief Funding

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) – The U.S. Senate has voted to end debate over an emergency measure that will provide a $150 million downpayment on aid to Rhode Island, Tennessee and other states hit by severe floods this year.

Senators voted 69-29 Thursday to move to final passage of the $58.8 billion emergency war funding and disaster relief bill, setting up final passage of the measure late Thursday or Friday.

The flooding in Rhode Island prompted President Barack Obama to declare the state a disaster area. In Tennessee, flooding killed 22 people and caused more than $2 billion in damage in Nashville alone.

Communities declared as disaster areas are required to match 25 percent of it to qualify for federal aid. The bill approved Thursday reduces the match to 10 percent.

The U.S. House of Representatives is considering a similar measure.
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