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US Senate Passes Warren’s Fishery Assistance Plan

fishingboatBOSTON (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.