Senate leaders struck a compromise late Monday on the issue of disaster relief funding that is likely to avert a federal government shutdown, the third such threat this year.

The bipartisan compromise, which passed the Senate 79 to 12, would set aside less money for disaster aid than Democrats originally wanted, but also avoided the kind of spending cuts Republicans had demanded. The House is expected to ratify the bill next week without a fight.

But as Ezra Klein explains in The Washington Post, the deal is not so much the fine work of our legislators as it is just good timing. In the thick of the debate, the Federal Emergency Management Agency decided it could stretch its resources one more week, which just happens to carry it through till the end of the fiscal year. –BF

Ezra Klein in The Washington Post:

We’re going to have a bigger funding showdown, and soon. The real work on 2012’s budget needs to be completed by November 18th or — and stop me if you’ve heard this one before — the federal government shuts down. As my colleague Suzy Khimm reports, this negotiation is vastly bigger and vastly more complicated than anything the two parties were considering this week. And the events of this week shouldn’t leave anyone feeling confident about that fight.

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