The congressional dispute over how to replenish FEMA's disaster relief coffers — which, if not resolved by September 30, could shut down the government — will resume on Monday. Go enjoy a national park while you still can! How about the Washington Monument? Oh, nevermind, the earthquake cracked that sucker good. In that case, do whatever the hell you want.
Here's where things stand: Senate Democrats want a disaster relief bill of $7 billion with no offsets; House Republicans want one for $3.7 billion and a partial offset of $1.5 billion in cuts to eliminate a program subsidizing makers of more fuel-efficient vehicles. House Republicans, after some early stumbles, were finally able to pass their bill by adding another $100 million in cuts to the program that benefited Solyndra, the bankrupt solar panel company that the White House strongly supported and which, now, is bankrupt and being investigated by the FBI. The Senate immediately tabled that bill on a bipartisan vote of 59-36.
So what's the solution? There's a pretty obvious compromise here: Pass the $3.7 billion bill with no offsets! Harry Reid has scheduled a Senate vote for this on Monday — the same day FEMA could run out of money. Will House Republicans even be in town then? Ha.
[Image of sad-eyed Sen. Harry Reid via AP]