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Government shutdown just a week away as House defeats budget bill

by Adam Russett on September 22, 2011

Just weeks after a government shutdown was avoided at the last minute late this summer, it looks like Congress is headed down the same road once again. The House of Representatives defeated the budget bill, which packaged emergency disaster relief with spending cuts, 195 to 230, with a whopping 48 Republicans siding with Democrats, The Huffington Post reports.

The defeat of the bill leaves Congress with just over a week to provide the government with funding, which runs out on September 30. The proposed bill would have sustained the government through November 18, when the whole issue would be taken up once again.

At the crux of the debate is whether or not the $3.65 billion in disaster relief aid, much of which will be used to clean up from the devastation caused by Hurricane Irene, will be offset by spending cuts. Some Republicans opposed the bill because it only accounted for $1.6 billion of the aid, while most Democrats opposed the legislation because it took a lot of money from the clean car program, which many congressmen feel creates jobs.

"This is the most stingy, short-sighted, poorest form of representative government I've ever seen," Minnesota Representative Keith Ellison told the news source. "You know who's not a job creator? Anyone who votes yes on this bill."

The defeat of the bill is a big problem for Speaker of the House John Boehner, and re-opens the debate of the summer of a balanced budget approach. Additionally, it comes just after President Obama unveiled a deficit reduction plan that includes taxes on the wealthiest Americans, which was one of the most contentious issues of the summer.

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