Skip to main content

(Jason Reed/Reuters)
In their ongoing effort to make everyone but the tea party hate them, House Republicans seem happy to play brinksmanship again over a government shutdown and, almost unbelievably, over disaster funding. At the outset, just a reminder where public opinion is on disaster funding, from a CNN poll last week:
CNN disaster relief poll

So here we are today.

Funding for the federal government runs out at the end of the month and Congress is set to adjourn for recess at the end of the week. That means the House and Senate have to come to terms in a matter of days over legislation to keep the lights on.

There's just one problem: they disagree about how much to re-up FEMA's disaster fund. House Republicans want to provide FEMA with $1 billion in emergency funds (fully offset by cutting a program to incentivize the production of hybrid vehicles) and $2.65 billion as a down payment of sorts on FEMA's annual disaster funding. The Senate passed stand-alone legislation last week to provide FEMA nearly $7 billion.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says that when the House sends the funding bill to the Senate, "we will amend it with the language of the Senate FEMA legislation." Last week, the Senate passed its funding bill, with some Republican support. Those Republicans are going to have to decide, again, whether to help out the country and the states some of them represent, or support the nihilistic leadership in the House, which seems perfectly willing to shut down the government over this few billion dollars. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor thinks that Americans will blame Reid if that shutdown happens. Somehow, I'm not thinking that's how it's going to play out, if the Dems hold firm.

So far, it looks like that's what they intend to do. House Democrats appear ready to withhold their votes for a funding package that couples disaster relief with partisan budget cuts. At least that's what Minority Whip Steny Hoyer is saying.

If Democrats vote against the funding bill en masse, it could leave House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) shy of the votes needed to pass the legislation, and force him to cut a deal on the Democrats' terms. Because if the impasse isn't bridged by the end of the month, the government will shut down.

"My presumption is they will offer a [funding bill] which has that offset in it and I think Democrats will be loath to support that effort," Hoyer told reporters at his weekly Capitol briefing.

This is a showdown the Democrats should not shy away from. Republicans definitely have a bad history with government shutdowns, a memory many of them still carry. And shutting the government down over helping people in tornado and hurricane ravaged areas? That's a definite loser for the GOP.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Tue Sep 20, 2011 at 12:40 PM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site