House to approve one-week stopgap measure on Thursday

The House on Thursday plans to sign off on a portion of the spending deal approved in the Senate, Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s (R-Va.) office said.

A Cantor spokeswoman, Laena Fallon, told The Hill that the House would approve a one-week stopgap measure by unanimous consent on Thursday. The move would avert a government shutdown once federal funding runs out after Friday, the end of the current fiscal year. The measure extends federal funding through Oct. 4.

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The one-week continuing resolution serves as a bridge to a six-week stopgap spending bill that the Senate also approved on Monday night. The House is expected to consider — and pass — that measure next week when lawmakers return to Washington following their recess. Approving the one-week bill by unanimous consent prevents members from having to cut short their break, and is contingent on no members showing up to object to a deal and forcing a roll call vote.

The second stopgap measure would carry the government through Nov. 18, when another battle is expected over financing for the balance of fiscal 2012.

House Republican leaders briefed their members on the Senate deal Monday night. A fight over federal disaster aid caused the impasse, which was broken when the Federal Emergency Management Agency said earlier in the day that it could stretch its current funding through the end of the fiscal year. FEMA had earlier said it would run out of money sooner, sparking a feud over whether the emergency funds it might need would be offset with spending cuts elsewhere, following a summer marked by tornadoes, hurricanes, wildfires and earthquakes.

The Senate approved the deal, 79-12, and the House GOP leadership accepted it reluctantly. Cantor’s office offered a parting shot at Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), who refused to accept a House-passed spending bill because of its cuts to an Energy program in order to offset the FEMA funding. He ultimately settled for less FEMA funding than he originally wanted.

“It’s surprising that just days after claiming that recent natural disasters required up to $7 billion in immediate funding, Harry Reid and Senate Democrats would now rather reduce funding for disaster aid by $1 billion rather than reduce corporate subsidies for companies like Solyndra,” Fallon said. “It’s regrettable that the priorities of Senate Democrats are so backward, and it has left very few options.”