The Senate voted 79-12 Monday night to approve a bipartisan stopgap spending bill that funds some disaster relief from FEMA and and abandons controversial cuts to green energy programs. Democrats said they expected the seven-week funding extension to be approved by the GOP-led House, which is in pro forma session after most members went home.
"The Senate was headed toward an agreement to temporarily fund the government and provide disaster aid, heading off an escalating a partisan stalemate with just days left to avoid a government shutdown.
Republican and Democratic leaders agreed to vote late Monday evening. The measure would still need approval in the GOP-led House.
The potential agreement defuses the partisan standoff that had been heading toward a showdown as both federal disaster aid and money to fund the government were about to run out by the end of the week. The new fiscal year begins Saturday.
Republicans had been refusing to provide supplemental aid to victims of Hurricane Irene and other disasters without spending cuts elsewhere.
Under the agreement being voted on Monday, both the federal government and disaster aid would be temporarily funded through Nov. 18, without the spending cuts to green energy programs Republicans had insisted on as a way to pay for disaster aid."
Lisa Mascaro reports for the Los Angeles Times September 26, 2011.