Leadership strikes deal with conservative senators on disaster funding

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) wants to complete work on the bill as soon as possible in order to take up a House-originated Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and highway funding bill before current funds for the FAA dry up Friday night, a scenario which would temporarily endanger about 80,000 construction jobs.

Coburn’s proposal, which will see a vote at about 4 p.m., would pay for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) funds by slashing what he calls “duplicative” and “wasteful” spending in other parts of the federal budget.

Paul’s proposal would pay for the disaster funds by cutting unspent foreign aid and State Department funds for FY2011.

Those votes will be followed by a vote on a technical amendment by Reid that inserts the $6.9 billion bill funding FEMA into a bill designed to renew trade sanctions on the ruling military junta in Burma. The FEMA bill originated in the Senate Appropriations Homeland Security subcommittee and would require passage first by the House, which would take too long to prevent the FAA lay-offs.

All three votes require a 60-vote threshold.


—This post was updated at 2:05 p.m.