For the third time in recent months, the government faces possible shutdown as the Senate and House face off over emergency funding. Emergency aid coffers were depleted following Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee, as well as from the wildfires and tornadoes that occurred this year. Republican spending plans would cut spending in other areas in order to offset the disaster relief, which Democrats oppose, saying that disaster relief should be unencumbered.
Areas where Republicans want to divert spending include cutting funding for clean energy programs. With the threat of possible shutdown, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, pushed for a compromise that would allow for lower disaster relief spending—in line with GOP wishes—without cutting into clean energy.