News » National

Senate Passes Stopgap Spending Bill

The Senate passed a stopgap spending bill on Monday night, almost certainly avoiding a government shutdown at the end of this week.

by

comment
The Senate passed a stopgap spending bill on Monday night, almost certainly avoiding a government shutdown at the end of this week.

The bill passed in a bipartisan vote of 79 to 12, the New York Times reports.

The bill extends funding for government agencies that is due to run out at midnight on Friday for six weeks at a level of spending that represents a 1.5 percent cut from this year’s levels, the Washington Post reports.

According to the New York Times:

The apparent breakthrough came after the Federal Emergency Management Agency indicated it had enough money to squeak through the end of the fiscal year Friday night, eliminating one of the main points of partisan contention: whether to offset a quick infusion of funds to the agency with cuts elsewhere as House Republicans had insisted. Democrats in both the House and Senate had resisted that approach.

"This compromise should satisfy Republicans...and it should satisfy Democrats," said Senate Majority leader Harry Reid, according to The Associated Press. Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said the latest legislation was a "reasonable way to keep the government operational," the AP reports.

The House is expected to ratify the agreement next week, when it returns from a recess for the Jewish holiday of Rosh Hashanah. In the meantime, House members plan to approve a week-long extension of funding by a voice vote later this week, which does not require the attendance of all members, the Washington Post reports.

According to the Washington Post:

While the agreement lifts the imminent specter of government shutdown, it will not resolve the underlying fight over how much FEMA needs to help disaster victims and whether those dollars must be offset with spending cuts.

The White House has said FEMA will need $4.6 billion for the next fiscal year – a figure many Democrats believe still underestimates the agency’s true needs.

Democrats will push to fully fund FEMA’s request and perhaps broaden it during negotiations over spending for the rest of the year.

Add a comment

Note: Comments are limited to 200 words.