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Senate Democrats will amend the House Republicans’ temporary measure to fund the government tomorrow, again raising the prospect of a shutdown at the end of the month.Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Tuesday morning that he will amend the House bill to include $6.9 billion in funding for FEMA — almost double what Republicans have included — meaning the funding measure will have to go back to the House.
“I was disappointed to see that the House shortchanged the Federal Emergency Management Agency, by failing to provide the funding to adequately help Americans whose lives have been devastated by floods, hurricanes and tornadoes,” Reid said on the Senate floor.
“This year, President Obama has declared disasters in all but two states, and FEMA is quickly running out of money to help American families and communities recover,” he added.
Republicans in the House are unwilling to fund FEMA for the entirety of 2012, noting that the continuing resolution is only designed to keep the lights on through November 18. Many GOP lawmakers are also demanding offsets, so that the relief money doesn’t add to the deficit.
If they do add offsets, House Democrats may not supported, said Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD):
“My presumption is they will offer a (funding resolution) which has that offset in it, and I think Democrats will be loathe to support that effort because we think it’s counterproductive,” Hoyer told The Washington Post. “The (resolution) needs to be passed, but we’ll see what the Senate does.”
The House and Senate are scheduled to be on recess all of next week, meaning lawmakers have until Friday to pass the funding measure or cancel the vacation. The government’s funding runs out at the end of the fiscal year — at midnight on October 1.
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