Senate OKs 'nice little water bill' — hold the ISIS

The Senate on Monday evening passed a bill to provide developing countries access to clean drinking water, which almost became a vehicle for a declaration of war earlier this month.

The Paul Simon Water for the World Act of 2014, sponsored by Sens. Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinGrassley to administration: You must consult Congress on refugee cap Overnight Health Care: Senators target surprise medical bills | Group looks to allow Medicaid funds for substance abuse programs | FDA launches anti-vaping campaign for teens Bipartisan group wants to lift Medicaid restriction on substance abuse treatment MORE (D-Ill.) and Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerPoll: More voters oppose Kavanaugh’s nomination than support it Ford opens door to testifying next week Police arrest nearly two dozen Kavanaugh protesters MORE (R-Tenn.), would improve access to clean water and sanitation around the world.

“Inadequate access to safe water and sanitation services sickens and kills thousands of children every day, and leads to poverty across the globe,” Durbin said in a joint statement.

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“But this is no longer simply a global health and development issue — it’s a long-term problem that increasingly threatens our national security. The Senate agreed unanimously and passed this legislation today and I hope the President will quickly sign it before the crisis reaches a devastating tipping point.”

In a meeting of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulConservatives left frustrated as Congress passes big spending bills Senate approves 4B spending bill Some employees' personal data revealed in State Department email breach: report MORE (R-Ky.) tried to attach a resolution declaring war against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) to the bill in an attempt to get it passed before Congress recessed for the year. Senators from both parties have voiced frustration about the lack of military authorization against ISIS.

"It was the most bizarre meeting of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that I have ever attended in my life or ever expected to attend," said committee member Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainTrump hits McCain on ObamaCare vote GOP, White House start playing midterm blame game Arizona race becomes Senate GOP’s ‘firewall’ MORE (R-Ariz.) afterward.

"A water bill. A nice little water bill, uncontroversial,” McCain said of the Dec. 4 hearing. “An obscure water bill! I mean, you can't make that up! Where in that little book on how the laws are made does it say water bill, get a declaration of war? It's ludicrous. It's a living, breathing argument against lame-duck sessions."

Paul's attempt failed, and the committee passed the bill, which was approved by the full Senate late Monday. It now heads to the president's desk for signature.

“I'm pleased lawmakers from both chambers agree that investing in water can make the most of existing foreign aid resources. These programs bring life-saving water and sanitation to vulnerable people around the globe, helping to support improved health and stability in these communities,” Corker said.

According to the statement, nearly 750 million people around the world lack access to clean, safe water, and nearly 2.5 billion people lack access to basic sanitation, many living on $2 a day.