House disaster vote sets up showdown with Senate

By Andrew Taylor

Associated Press

Published: Wednesday, Sept. 21 2011 1:06 a.m. MDT

In this Sept. 20, 2011, photo, Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., urges funding for the Federal Emergency Management Agency during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington. The GOP-controlled House is on track Wednesday, Sept. 21, to pass $3.7 billion in disaster relief as part of a must-pass bill to avert a government shutdown at the end of the month. After the measure passes the House, a battle looms with Senate Democrats. The two sides are divided over how much disaster aid to provide and whether any of it should be paid for.

J. Scott Applewhite, Associated Press

Enlarge photo»

WASHINGTON — The GOP-controlled House is set to pass $3.7 billion in disaster relief as part of a must-do bill to avert a government shutdown at the end of the month.

The move would put House Republicans at odds with the Democratic-led Senate, where Majority Leader Harry Reid wants to almost double the disaster aid package to $7 billion.

Reid will need support from Republicans, but it's not assured.

House GOP leaders still have to shore up support in that chamber. The stopgap measure is opposed there by most Democrats because it would cut $1.5 billion in loan subsidies from a government program to help car companies build more fuel-efficient vehicles. That cut would pay for the most urgently needed portion of the disaster aid.

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