Group of Tea Party ‘radicals’ behind shutdown threat, Reid says

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Democratic and Republican leaders have exchanged slings and arrows over the last few days over government funding which is set to expire on Sept. 30. Although the House is working on a continuing resolution (CR) to renew funding on Wednesday, a disagreement over FEMA funds threatens to derail negotiations.

The House CR contains $3.65 billion for the agency and offsets funds by cutting from a fuel efficiency program. The Senate recently approved a standalone funding bill for FEMA that includes $6.9 billion in relief funds without offsets.

Reid said he will attach the $6.9 billion to the House-passed government funding bill when it arrives in the Senate. Many Republicans and most members who identify with the Tea Party in the House, however, are unlikely to agree to the funds which are unpaid for with other cuts in spending.

“They are threatening to shut down government if they don’t get what they want,” said Reid.

Reid also suggested that the ten Senate Republicans who voted with Democrats to allow the $6.9 billion to clear the upper chamber, may have indicated they might not support it again as an amendment to the House bill. 

“It’s bad enough that we can’t agree victims of flood and fire should get the help they need without delay,” said Reid.” Now we can’t even agree what we have already agreed to.”