Congress OKs billions for disasters, extends flood insurance

By Manuel Quiñones | 09/30/2023 09:07 PM EDT

The issues were included in a stopgap bill to keep the government from shutting down.

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.).

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) at the Capitol on Friday. Francis Chung/POLITICO

After weeks of acrimony and uncertainty, Congress has approved legislation to keep the government open, extend flood insurance and fund disaster relief.

The stopgap spending bill, known as a continuing resolution, gained momentum Saturday morning. It would fund the government until Nov. 17, approve President Joe Biden’s $16 billion supplemental for disasters and extend the National Flood Insurance Program. The bill also includes an extension of wildland firefighter pay raises.

The House approved the legislation after hours of debate 335-91, with 209 Democrats voting in favor and 90 Republicans against.


House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) tried for weeks to convince Republicans to pass a CR on their own. When the latest effort failed Friday, McCarthy switched his strategy.

“It is very clear that I tried every possible way to listen to every single person in the conference,” McCarthy said after the vote.

The Senate passed the House CR 88-9 later Saturday. The chamber had been set to consider its own bipartisan stopgap with roughly $6 billion to help Ukraine, but ultimately put the vote off.