US Reid, Pelosi Offer Compromise To End FY’12 Funding Dispute

Author: Market News International | Category: News

–Hill Dems Say They Will Agree To GOP’s Disaster Funding Request
–Sen. Reid: Dem Plan ‘Averts A Government Shutdown’
–Rep. Pelosi: Democrats Are Offering ‘A Very Excellent Compromise’
–Rep. Hoyer: Democrats Proposal Would Pass The House Easily

By John Shaw

WASHINGTON (MNI) – Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House
Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi Friday proposed a compromise package to end
the stalemate over the 2012 fiscal year stop-gap spending bill.

At a briefing, Reid and Pelosi and other Democratic leaders said
they support a package that funds the government until Nov. 18 and
provides the level of disaster funds that House Republicans are calling
for.

The Democratic leader said their plan does not include the $1.6
billion in spending offsets that the House GOP wants.

Reid said the Democratic plan is “very reasonable” and should be
acceptable to congressional Republicans.

“What we have done averts a government shutdown,” he said, adding
that he is willing to meet with Republican leaders over the weekend to
discuss the proposal.

Pelosi called it a “very excellent compromise.”

The Senate rejected Friday the House Republican leadership’s
revised fiscal year 2012 stop-gap spending bill on a 59 to 36 vote. All
Democrats and a handful of conservative Republicans voted against the
bill.

The House had cleared the measure early Friday morning on a 219 to
203 vote.

The underlying FY’12 stop-gap spending bill is relatively
non-controversial. It keeps the federal government running until Nov.
18 as work continues on the regular spending bills for the 2012 fiscal
year. The new fiscal year starts Oct. 1.

The overall funding level for discretionary programs in FY’12 was
agreed to earlier this year by the White House and Congress. That level
is $1.043 trillion for discretionary programs in FY’12.

However, there has been a dispute over disaster funding which is
attached to the stop-gap bill. The House GOP leadership backs a package
of $3.65 billion in emergency relief while Senate Democrats support a
$6.9 billion package.

Additionally, the House bill includes a partial offset to the
disaster package by cutting $1.5 billion from an energy efficiency
program. In a new twist, House Republican leaders also added a provision
to rescind $100 million in unobligated funds from an alternative energy
loan fund that helped finance Solyndra, a controversial solar panel
manufacturing firm that has declared bankruptcy.

Reid said the Senate will vote Monday evening on a stop-gap bill
that has $3.65 billion in disaster funds but does not include the $1.6
billion in offsets that the House put on the bill.

“We have comprised,” Reid said.

House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer said he believes this package could
pass the House by unanimous consent if it clears the Senate Monday
evening.

** Market News International Washington Bureau: (202) 371-2121 **

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