Senate leaders announced a bipartisan agreement Monday evening that would keep government agencies funded until Nov. 18, potentially ending a contentious dispute over how to pay for disaster funds.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nev., speaks with reporters Sept. 13 on Capitol Hill.
The Senate is expected to approve its version of the temporary spending bill Monday evening.
Under the deal, the Federal Emergency Management Agency will be able to begin drawing down $2.65 billion when the new fiscal year begins Saturday. Democrats and Republicans have agreed to drop $1 billion in disaster relief funding that had been thought to be necessary to replenish FEMA’s coffers before the week ended, and they have agreed to forgo a $1.5 billion cut to another part of government that House Republicans had insisted was necessary to pay for the immediate dollars for FEMA.
The agreement was made possible by FEMA’s announcement earlier Monday that it could make its funding last through Friday.
To keep the government running for the full six week period through Nov. 18, the GOP-held House will also have to sign off on the agreement. However, the House is this week on recess in observance of the Jewish holiday of Rosh Hashanah, and House leaders had indicated they did not want to call their members back to town.
To smooth House passage, both chambers have agreed that the House can approve a very brief week-long extension of funding by a voice vote later this week, which does not require the attendance of all members. The House will then take up the stop-gap bill to keep the government into November when the full chamber returns next week.
Source: Washington Post | Paul Kane and Rosalind S. Helderman