Senate spending bill strips Solyndra language

However, House passage of the Senate bills is not expected to be a problem, even if the removal of the Solyndra language forces some Republicans to vote against it again. That's because most House Democrats are expected to now support the bill and join what's expected to be a majority of Republicans to help pass it.

ADVERTISEMENT
Democrats in both the House and Senate had balked at the idea of giving the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) $1 billion for the rest of fiscal 2011 by cutting funds from a Department of Energy fuel efficiency program. But that offset is no longer needed, since FEMA said it has enough money to reach fiscal 2012.

Removing that offset language allowed for easy passage in the Senate on Monday night.

Because the fiscal year ends Friday, the House is expected to approve the Senate-passed one-week spending bill by unanimous consent on Thursday. While in theory a Republican member could object to granting unanimous consent — over the absent Solyndra language or for other reasons — this would only force the House to reconvene for a vote that would see easy passage of the bill. For that reason, passage by unanimous consent is widely expected.

Once the one-week spending bill is approved, the House will have until the end of next week to approve the second bill, which funds the government through Nov. 18. The two step process was designed to let the House — which is out this week — easily approve a one-week spending bill and give it time to consider the longer-term agreement.

House Democrats last week seemed somewhat ambivalent toward the Solyndra language when it was introduced by Republicans. During a House Rules Committee meeting, Democrats said that regardless of the language, Solyndra would not be getting any more government funding because it is now bankrupt.