The Senate easily voted this afternoon to end debate on a $58.8 billion bill to fund war efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan and provide disaster aid.
By a 69-29 vote, the Senate agreed to move forward on the bill that includes $33.45 billion mainly for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, $2.8 billion for earthquake relief in Haiti, and $5.1 billion for the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) for flooding and storm disasters nationwide. FEMA officials have said their disaster relief fund would run out of money by June without supplemental funding.
In addition, more than $6 billion will go toward foreign operations and intelligence and $13.4 billion in mandatory spending will go to the Veterans Affairs Department for illnesses related to Agent Orange.
The House Appropriations Committee is marking up a bill later today that will provide for war funding and $23 billion in education initiatives to save teachers jobs. The House's $83 billion measure includes $70 billion in discretionary spending, including funds for the U.S.-Mexico border and Pell Grants.
The House's figures for war funding and foreign and state operations match the Obama administration's requests.