Congress remains hopelessly divided over how to fund disaster aid, an impasse that could result in a government shutdown if not solved by September 30. But lawmakers face a more pressing deadline. Currently, the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Disaster Relief Fund (DRF) is poised to run out of cash by Tuesday, if not earlier, with the account at the dangerously-low level of $175 million, according to Senate aides.
Senate Democrats on Friday defeated a House GOP-backed stopgap Continuing Resolution (CR) to fund the government through November 18 by a vote of 59-36. The $1.04 trillion measure contained $3.7 billion for disaster aid, $200 million of which was offset by cuts to green energy programs, including a loan account that once helped fund the now-defunct, controversial solar panel firm Solyndra.