Disaster aid showdown looms on Capitol Hill

September 20, 2011 - 2:00 PM

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.