Senate passes budget deal; What will House do?

Senate reaches agreement that could avert a government shutdown, but House approval is still needed.

The Senate passed a pair of bills early on the evening of Sept. 26 and now attention turns back to the House of Representatives, who must approve the bill before Sept. 30 to avert a partial government shutdown. 

The first bill provides funding for the government until early next week. That gives the House time to pass the continuing resolution that will keep the government functioning into mid-November.

The sticking point has been funding for disaster relief for the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The House-passed bill required such spending to be offset by cuts elsewhere, a measure Senate Democrats rejected.

Early predictions indicated that FEMA could run out of funds as early as Sept. 26, but an official later said the agency might have enough money until Oct. 1 when new funding kicks in. That revelation allowed the Senate to bypass the debate over offsets for disaster-aid spending. 

The House is in recess this week. Senate leaders are hoping the House will agree to adopt the stop-gap measure in a pro forma session later this week without all its members being called back, The New York Times reported.