Skip to comments.House rejects funding measure that would have provided Texas with wildfire aid
Posted on 09/22/2011 3:09:33 PM PDT by smokingfrog
Two Texas Republicans joined the Democratic contingent tonight in shooting down a government spending measure in the House that would have funded the government through mid-November. The bill also included $3.6 billion in federal emergency aid for ravaged areas around the U.S., including the 52 Texas counties President Obama declared as disaster areas recently.
The measure was an interim solution that would have taken effect Sept. 30 after the current funding bill, which was passed in April, expires. At issue was the additional billions in emergency funding, which Sen. Harry Reid attached to the Senate version of the bill before it went to the House for approval.
Lawmakers have been wrangling over the annual budget for months, with neither side appearing willing to back down. Republicans added cuts from a Democrat-backed green energy initiative to the bill to offset the costs of the emergency funds. But Democrats said that cutting funding from the green energy program would effectively cut jobs.
Despite the Republican majority in the House, the bill failed, 230-195. Forty-eight Republicans broke ranks and voted against the bill, including Reps. Ted Poe of Humble and Louie Gohmert of Tyler.
Republicans said the poor state of the economy requires offsets for any spending that is beyond the level of the stopgap measure passed in April.
House Democrats want higher spending and disaster relief that adds billions of dollars in new debt, said Rep. Kevin Brady, R-The Woodlands, who supported the resolution.
Its time to budget for these disasters, Brady said, and there is plenty of frivolous spending in Washington that can be cut to pay for it.
Democrats largely refused to support the bill, arguing that requiring offsets for emergency funding sets a dangerous precedent, in case federal money is needed in the wake of a future large-scale disaster.
(Excerpt) Read more at blog.chron.com ...
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