Daily Dose: Shutdown Concerns Renewed; FEMA Funding Debated

As Congress struggles to pass a bill to extend funding for FEMA through mid- November, shutdown concerns have once again surfaced. The Washington Post Reports:

A bill extending government funding through mid-November failed to pass the House Wednesday night in part because of objections by Democrats who believe the measure did not do enough to provide federal funding to the victims of recent natural disasters. With Congress still toiling over how to pay for federal disaster funding, reconstruction projects in 42 states totaling $447 million are on hold, according to Federal Emergency Management Agency records.

The failure to pass the vote yesterday renewed concerns about a potential government shutdown. The good news is that many of the pundits do not believe that a shutdown is imminent, as a most analyst believe a deal will be reached before the September 30th deadline. The Post reports that by failing to pass the bill, programs across the country have been put on hold. Many communities are in need of funding to help recovery efforts from recent storms this summer. The Post also mentions some initiatives for Hurricane Katrina recovery have stalled. The Post offers some insights to why the measure failed in the House:

Wednesday’s short-term spending bill failed in part because it offset $1.5 billion of $3.65 billion in disaster relief funding with a cut to a program loaning money to car companies to encourage the production of energy-efficient cars. Democrats objected en masse, arguing the program has created jobs and that Congress should provide federal disaster relief no matter its effect on the federal deficit.

The vote is just another example of the stark philosophical disagreements on the services that government should provide between Republicans and Democrats.

Are you again concerned about a potential shutdown? Should Congress provide relief regardless of its effect on the deficit?

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