The House of Representatives narrowly rejected a short-term government funding bill Wednesday evening that would require cuts to government programs to pay for assistance in the wake of Hurricane Irene and other disasters this year.

The bill, which would provide the Federal Emergency Management Agency with desperately needed additional funding, is needed to avoid a government shutdown on Oct. 1, the day current spending authority ends.

While disaster funding usually draws bipartisan support, this time it drew bipartisan rejection. Democrats rejected it because conservative drafters of the bill insisted that the supplemental emergency funds be offset by spending cuts, and Republicans rejected it because they thought its spending level was still too high. –BF

The Los Angeles Times:

The rebuke gives new currency to Senate Democrats’ efforts to fund disaster aid without cuts elsewhere. Congress has just days to resolve the impasse as lawmakers are expected to recess Friday for the Jewish holiday of Rosh Hashana next week.

“They’re threatening to shut down the government to get what they want,” Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.), the majority leader, said of the GOP-led House.

House Republican leaders huddled late Wednesday to consider their options. It is unlikely they will be able to persuade their right flank to support a bill with spending levels higher than they want. Instead, Boehner will probably be forced to rely on Democrats for votes.

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