Congress Girds for a Government Shutdown Sequel

The Houses passes a disaster relief bill that Senate Democrats can't stand

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"There's no threat of government shutdown," House Speaker John Boehner said last night, a sentiment that doesn't seem so comforting Friday morning. The Republican-controlled House did pass a disaster relief bill by a thin 219-203 margin last night that included $3.65 million dollars to help refill the coffers of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, The Los Angeles Times wrote. But it also included what the paper colorfully described as a "poison pill" of provisions that Harry Reid and Senate Democrats would never go for. Things like, as the paper reports, taking "$1.5 billion from a green vehicle program that Democrats champion as a job creator" and "$100 million from an Energy Department account" that loaned money to the bankrupt solar-company Solyndra to send a message. The New York Times had a sober appraisal this morning:

If the Senate balks, it is not clear how the two houses would overcome the resulting impasse and avert a government shutdown. Most federal agencies need money to continue operations beyond Oct. 1. The disaster relief fund of the Federal Emergency Management Agency is running short of money. 

The House version is headed to a vote expected sometime on Friday, The Washington Post said, adding: "Without a stopgap in place to buy time for further negotiations, the government will shut down at month's end."

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.