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Senate Leaders Agree on U.S. Spending, Disaster Aid Bill

Sept. 26 (Bloomberg) -- Democratic and Republican Senate leaders agreed on legislation to avoid a government shutdown and provide $2.65 billion in disaster aid without offsetting cuts elsewhere in the budget.

The new plan, announced by Reid today, would fund the U.S. government through Nov. 18 and provide $2.65 billion in disaster aid for the next fiscal year without offsetting cuts elsewhere in the budget. Before considering that plan, the Senate is voting on an earlier measure offered by Reid last week that is likely to fail.

Republicans had demanded offsetting cuts in exchange for an additional $1 billion to keep the Federal Emergency Management Agency operating through the end of this week.

That issue became moot after FEMA said it has enough funds to help disaster victims through the Sept. 30 end of this fiscal year, said Brian Fallon, a spokesman for Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the No. 3 Democratic leader.

FEMA had said last week it would run out of money early this week. Now, “FEMA says they have the money to cover it,” Fallon said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Laura Litvan in Washington at llitvan@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Mark Silva at msilva34@bloomberg.net

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