Senate blocks House disaster aid bill
Thursday, September 22, 2011
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Democratic-led Senate has blocked a House-passed bill that would provide disaster aid and pay to keep federal agencies open, escalating the latest partisan clash over spending.
The near-party line 59-36 vote set up a fresh round of brinksmanship between the Senate and the Republican-run House. A government fund for disaster victims will run out of money early next week, and government agencies would have to close if Congress doesn't finance them by Oct. 1, the start of the federal fiscal year.
The House passed legislation early Friday funding government agencies and providing $3.7 billion in disaster assistance. That aid would be partly paid for with cuts in two loan programs that finance technological development.
Democrats complained that the House measure was too stingy and said cutting the loan programs would kill jobs.