Disaster aid showdown looms on Capitol Hill

Tuesday - 9/20/2011, 2:00pm EDT

Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Democratic leader of the Senate says he'll try this week to add almost $7 billion in disaster aid to must-pass legislation to avert a government shutdown.

The move by Nevada Democrat Harry Reid would force GOP supporters of a Senate disaster relief bill to choose whether to stick with the Senate disaster package or opt for a less generous House version. The House version is partially "paid for" with a $1.5 billion cut to a federal program that subsidizes low interest loans to car companies to build more fuel efficient vehicles.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor says the GOP House measure providing $3.7 billion in disaster relief as part of the stopgap measure is adequate for the needs of disaster victims, which include people affected by Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee.

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