NASA dodged a $325 million bullet Dec. 17 when the U.S. Senate rejected a House proposal to pay for $8 billion in disaster relief funding by imposing an across-the-board 1.83 percent cut to all nondefense discretionary spending.
In a furry of last-minute legislative activity, the House approved a catch-all spending bill to keep the federal government running through September 2012 and passed the disaster funding bill, H.R. 3672, and a separate resolution calling for the 1.83 percent rescission to offset the $8 billion. The resolution was intended to force the Senate, which is controlled by Democrats averse to further spending cuts, to vote yea or nay on the offsets.
The Hill reports that the “pay-for resolution, H. Con. Res. 94, was defeated 43-56.”
“Prior to that vote, the Senate cleared the actual disaster funding bill, H.R. 3672, by a 72-27 vote. That bill would provide for $8.1 billion in disaster relief funding, $6.4 billion of which would go to the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
“The bill cleared the House Friday evening 351-67 with only one Democrat and 66 Republicans who opposed the additional spending,” The Hill reported Dec. 17.