Reid says sides need weekend to ‘cool off’ over spending fight

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has set up a Monday vote on a spending measure to let lawmakers cool off.

Reid took the action after the Senate rejected a House bill to keep the government funded. 

If Congress does not approve legislation, the Federal Emergency Management Agency could run out of funds by Monday and the federal government would shut down after Thursday.

Reid said the Senate will hold a cloture vote Monday on legislation to keep the government funded through Nov. 18 that would adopt House levels of funding for FEMA while dropping controversial offsets Republicans included in the House bill. 

ADVERTISEMENT
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) pushed for the vote to be held Friday, but Reid said it would be better for lawmakers to let the weekend pass.

“The leaders ... should just cool off a little bit,” Reid said. “Work through this. There is a compromise here. ... Everyone once in a while needs a little cooling-off period.”

Reids move likely means the Senate will be back next week. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) on Friday suggested the House could also return to deal with the government-funding measure. 

Pressed on whether he was ruling out returning next week, Cantor left the door open: “If we are back, that means Harry Reid has shut down FEMA.”


Lawmakers are fighting over how much disaster aid to include in the government funding bill. The House Republican bill also includes a $1.5 billion cut to a clean-vehicles program to partially offset disaster aid. Democrats oppose the cut. 

McConnell said Reids legislation would be defeated, so it made sense to hold the vote Friday.

“I am pretty confident it will not pass the Senate," McConnell said of the compromise. “I don’t see any purpose in delaying that outcome [until] Monday when we could have an outcome today, therefore I object.”

McConnell eventually agreed to allow the vote to occur at 5:30 p.m. Monday.

More in Senate

Reid: Weekend votes 'very likely'

Read more »