Disaster Aid Legislation Passed

Sep 23, 2011, 09:56 by R.E. Christian

The U.S. House of Representatives narrowly approved a disaster-aid and stopgap spending bill to keep the federal government in business after Sept. 30.

The chamber voted 219-203 early Friday in favor of a measure that includes a controversial cut of $100 million from the same loan guarantee program that funded the bankrupt energy company Solyndra, The Hill reported.

Democrats objected to swapping disaster aid for spending cuts and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said the bill would be rejected in the Senate.

Even before the House vote, Reid said the measure was not an "honest effort at compromise."

The bill would fund the federal government through Nov. 18.

Without the support, the Federal Emergency Management Agency is due to run out of money by Monday, officials said.

Both the House and Senate have scheduled a recess next week.

Democrats opposed the GOP bill because it partially offsets $3.65 billion in funding for FEMA with a cut in a separate Department of Energy manufacturing loan program.

"It fails to provide the relief that our fellow Americans need as they struggle to rebuild their lives in the wake of floods, wildfires and hurricanes, and it will be rejected by the Senate," Reid said.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., said the burden of passage now falls to Reid.

Reid said the Senate is ready to cancel its recess.

Source: UPI