Monday, Sept. 26, 2011
Senate Vote 153: To pass a continuing resolution to continue funding the federal government through Nov. 18.
WHAT IT REALLY MEANT
This vote averted another government shutdown after the Senate first rejected the House-passed continuing resolution and then an alternative by Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry ReidReid: Comey should be investigated in wake of Russia report Spokesman: NY Times ignored Reid's comments in pre-election story on Russia Senate passes dozens of bills on way out of town MORE (D-Nev.). The issue in both those votes was the House Republicans’ demand that additional federal disaster aid be offset by cuts elsewhere in the federal budget. The crisis was defused by an agreement to limit disaster aid to the amount provided in the House GOP’s 2012 budget with no offsets.
On this vote, 26 Republicans joined 52 Democrats and liberal independent Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersSunday shows preview: Trump sits down with Fox Democrats: Where the hell are You? Sanders on Trump pick: This is how a rigged economy works MORE (Vt.) in support, with 12 conservative Republicans opposed. Twenty-three of those 26 Republicans had voted against Reid’s alternative, which was supported by only three Republican senators, Scott Brown of Massachusetts and Susan CollinsSusan CollinsDems, greens gear up for fight against Trump EPA pick Medicare looms over Trump-Ryan alliance Senators crafting bill to limit deportations under Trump MORE and Olympia Snowe of Maine. Reid’s alternative fell six votes short of cloture, 54-35.
The final bill omitted $3.65 billion in Federal Emergency Management Agency aid and a $100 million offset from the Department of Energy grant program that made loans to now-defunct solar company Solyndra.
A short-term CR was passed unanimously to last until Tuesday, when the House is expected to pass the long-term CR that continues funding to mid-November.
Both Reid and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellRepublican wins La. Senate runoff in final 2016 race Heitkamp is Trump's top choice for Agriculture secretary: report Schumer calls for Senate probe into Russian interference MORE (R-Ky.) said the dust-up that delayed the start of the Senate’s break for the Jewish New Year was unnecessary, but each blamed the other party for it.
Passage also was eased by FEMA’s announcement last week that it would be able to stretch its funds to carry it through the rest of fiscal 2011, which ended at midnight Friday.
“Tonight can best be summed up by Johnny IsaksonJohnny IsaksonGOP senators wary of nuking filibuster SENATE: Republicans defy odds to keep majority A banner year for U.S. leadership on aid effectiveness MORE, the senator from Georgia, who said: It is only worth fighting when there is something to fight for,” Reid said.
“This compromise should satisfy Republicans. It includes their own 2012 FEMA funding number, and it should satisfy the Democrats because it does not include the offsets we have talked about so much. It would be a win for everyone because we could end without another government crisis.”
But McConnell said FEMA’s announcement was “a vindication of what Republicans have been saying all along: Before we spend the taxpayers’ money, we should have a real accounting — a real accounting — of what is actually needed. We also believe that, in these days of huge deficits, we need to prioritize our spending around here.”
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