There’s nothing the Republican Party seems to like more than causing a crisis in order to have their own way. The debt ceiling downgrade, the near total shutdown in April over the lack of a budget, working against a deadline and holding the country hostage as a negotiating tactic is their forte.
And it looks like we’re back there again. This time, the issue is adding more money to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) so that it can help with disaster aid and recovery. Republicans have said they will authorize an increase in FEMA spend…soon. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, on the other hand, has demanded it be included in the next continuing resolution bill that will fund the government after the end of the month.
Republicans have previously said that they won’t provide FEMA with any more money unless it’s accompanied by additional budgetary cuts to offset the spending. And with the House not even considering the stand-alone FEMA funding bill yet, Reid has a reason to be worried. The GOP at this point is arguing for the continuing resolution to be passed and asking Democrats to worry about FEMA funding later, claiming they’re good for it. But as Reid puts it, “The tea-party-driven House of Representatives has been so unreasonable in the past, I don’t know why they should suddenly be reasonable.”
Are we on the brink of shutdown again? Frankly, it wouldn’t be too surprising anymore.
UPDATE: The House has defeated the continuing resolution that required spending offsets for disaster relief, making a potential shutdown even more possible.
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