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Reid Drives Wedge Between House, Senate GOP Over Disaster Funds

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"Tomorrow, when the Senate receives the House bill to fund the government for six more weeks, we will amend it with the language of the Senate FEMA legislation," Reid said. "This year, President Obama has declared disasters in all but two states, and FEMA is quickly running out of money to help American families and communities recover. Of course, I know this amendment will enjoy the support of my Republican colleagues, as it did just last week, when a bipartisan group of Senators agreed that helping communities destroyed by natural disasters was too important to let politics get in the way."

The Senate Republicans who voted with Reid last week will have to decide whether to join him again, and hand the funding bill back to House Republicans, or renege, jamming Senate Dems with the House package, but opening themselves to the charge of short-changing disaster victims.

Some House Democrats have already signaled that the can support the House's bill, so it's unclear whether they have the upper hand in the legislative fight. But they're threatening Republicans with a potent political attack they may not want to face right now. And, of course, if neither side budges, the government shuts down. A key dynamic to watch.

About The Author

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Brian Beutler is TPM's senior congressional reporter. Since 2009, he's led coverage of health care reform, Wall Street reform, taxes, the GOP budget, the government shutdown fight and the debt limit fight. He can be reached at brian@talkingpointsmemo.com

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