Just a week away from a possible government shutdown, lawmakers on Capitol Hill have boxed themselves into a new budget impasse.
On Friday, the Democratic-controlled Senate blocked a Republican
House bill that would provide stopgap federal spending, plus aid
for people battered by natural disasters. The legislation also
calls for $1.6 billion in spending cuts.
Democrats say it's unfair to require spending cuts to accompany
badly needed emergency aid. Republicans say that with a $14
trillion-plus national debt, business-as-usual spending is no
It's possible Congress will find a last-minute way to avoid a
shutdown of many federal agencies when the fiscal year ends next
Friday. The Senate plans to vote Monday on a Democratic bill that
would not require spending offsets to release new money for the
Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Senate Republicans, however, are talking filibuster.