Alaska senators vote in favor of highway bill

Congress has averted a crisis in U.S. Highway funding.

The Senate passed a House bill on Thursday to keep the highway program afloat until at least Halloween.

Both Alaska senators voted for the bill.

It also includes an unrelated emergency measure for the Department of Veterans Affairs. Congress agreed to let the VA move up to $3.3 billion dollars from the new Veterans Choice program, which funds private health care for vets, to cover other account shortfalls.

Without the flexibility, the VA said it would have had to begin shutting down its own hospitals and clinics. Sen. Lisa Murkowski blamed the need for the emergency measure on the VA’s “poor organizational abilities.”