US Senate passes Warren’s fishery assistance plan

BOSTON (AP) – The U.S. Senate has passed an
amendment that would allow funds in next year's federal budget to be
used to aid fishermen in the Northeast and elsewhere.

The bipartisan amendment, introduced by
Massachusetts Democrat Elizabeth Warren and Alaska Republican Lisa
Murkowski, was included in the Senate budget proposal that passed early
Saturday.

It's uncertain whether the provision will survive
budget negotiations before final legislation is passed. The House has
passed a rival budget proposal and President Obama has yet to introduce
his plan.

Warren's amendment came after a federal disaster
was declared last year in several fisheries, including in the Northeast,
where fisherman face massive cuts in 2013 groundfish catch allocations.

The Senate last year approved $150 million for
fisheries assistance, but that measure died. Warren says disaster aid is
critically needed by fishermen.

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