New Congressional Clash Threatens Government Shutdown

Posted September 23rd, 2011 at 12:24 pm (UTC-5)
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Republican leaders in the U.S. House of Representatives are lashing out at the Democratic-led Senate in the latest round of partisan bickering that could shut down Washington.

House Speaker John Boehner told reporters the Republican-led House upheld its responsibility by passing an emergency spending bill early Friday morning, and criticized Senate Democrats for threatening to scrap the measure.

The legislation would fund the government through November 18 and includes $3.65 billion for domestic disaster relief.

Senate Democrats are angry that the bill also cuts $1.5 billion from government clean energy programs. They have vowed to pass a spending bill that includes nearly $7 billion dollars in disaster aid.

White House spokesman Jay Carney blamed Republicans for the impasse, saying “the fever hasn't broken.” He accused them of the same type of partisan brinkmanship that “really repelled Americans” during the recent debt crisis.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor also criticized the partisanship but put the blame on Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. Cantor said Reid is holding the bill up “for politics” and that this is why people do not like Washington.

If a temporary bill is not passed by next Friday the government will partially shut down.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency could be impacted before then, because its disaster assistance accounts will likely run out of money by Monday.

Both chambers of Congress are scheduled to be in recess next week.

The bill failed in the House Wednesday, with 48 Republican lawmakers, mostly supporters of the conservative Tea Party movement, breaking from their leaders and voting against it because it did not contain deeper reductions in government spending.