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Members of the House passed a disaster aid spending bill early Friday morning, then went home for a weeklong recess. Hours later, the Senate rejected the bill, making the possibility of a government shutdown Oct. 1 a real possibility.
The bill, which the Senate voted down 59 to 36, was meant to provide funding for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, whose coffers are nearly empty after a series of natural disasters this year.
But Democrats in the Senate took issue with the House version of the bill, which used spending cuts to offset what they said wasn’t enough money to aid disaster victims anyway. —BF
The New York Times:
Democrats oppose the House measure on the grounds that it does not provide enough relief for disaster victims, and because that relief was offset by spending cuts to other programs near and dear to them; conservatives appeared to feel their House colleagues had failed to cut deeply enough.
The Senate action left Congress mired in an impasse with serious implications for the financing of federal agencies. The House and Senate were scheduled to begin a week-long recess Friday. But without an agreement on a bill to pay for federal operations beginning Oct. 1, the government would run out of money before lawmakers returned unless some resolution was found.