US Senate Defeats House GOP’s FY’12 Stop-Gap Spending Bill

Author: Market News International | Category: News

–Senate Rejects Revised House GOP Bill; Hill Stalemate Continues
–Senate Majority Leader Sets Up Monday Evening Vote On New Senate Plan
–House Speaker Boehner: House Bill Is ‘Bipartisan’ Plan
–Rep. Boehner: ‘Wasn’t Much Progress’ In Talks With Sen. Reid Friday
–House Majority Leader Cantor Hints House Set To Leave DC Until Oct 3

By John Shaw

WASHINGTON (MNI) – The U.S. Senate Friday rejected the House
Republican leadership’s revised fiscal year 2012 stop-gap spending bill,
deepening the fiscal stalemate in Washington.

The Senate defeated the House GOP 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.

As the Senate was voting to kill the House bill, House Speaker John
Boehner was insisting the House bill was a “bipartisan” plan. He said
that Democrats were “walking away from an understanding” on the measure.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said the House will be leaving
Washington later in the day and did not say when they will return.

The new fiscal year begins Oct. 1.

Boehner said he spoke with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid Friday
and there “wasn’t much progress” in their discussions on how to end the
impasse.

Reid said Friday after the Senate vote that the Senate will vote
Monday night on a revised stop-gap bill.

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 is a continuing 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 on a stop-gap bill that has
$3.65 billion in disaster funds but does not include the offsets that
the House put on the bill.

“There is a compromise here,” Reid said, adding that it would be
useful to have a “cooling off period” for congressional leaders to
reassess their positions and find a solution to the impasse.

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

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