Senate approves $2 billion in emergency spending bill

The Senate on Wednesday approved $2.4 billion in relief for those impacted by the Hurricane Harvey disaster, clearing the way for passage of the $2 trillion spending bill.

The bill passed by a vote of 68-31, with Republican Sen. John Cornyn and Democratic Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont voting against it.

The vote was the first in a series of votes on the House version of the bill, which passed earlier this week.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer have said the House bill is more complicated and would be more difficult to pass.

The legislation would help more than 5 million Americans and could be used to pay for the rebuilding of homes and public infrastructure.