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Senate Gives OK to Donations

Senate staff will be allowed to make donations of food, clothing, medical supplies and other materials for victims of Hurricane Katrina, thanks to a measure approved by unanimous consent Wednesday night.

The chamber’s internal rules prohibit non-cash solicitations within the Senate or its office buildings, but Rules and Administration Chairman Trent Lott (R-Miss.) sponsored the resolution to give a temporary reprieve to the regulations to accommodate the requests from other Senators and aides who want to help.

“It’s my hope that this measure will demonstrate the generosity of Senators and staff and will help ease the suffering of the millions of people along the Gulf Coast,” Lott said in a statement.

He called it a “modest effort at a time of great suffering.”

The resolution specifically allows any Senator or staffer to start a drive within the chamber’s buildings, solicit donations, and then work with a nonprofit organization to deliver the donations.

— Paul Kane