Options to avert government shutdown

The Senate will vote tonight on a bill to keep the government funded through Nov. 18 and provide emergency funds for the Federal Emergency Management Agency. It mirrors the House version of the bill, which the Senate rejected on Friday, but doesn't contain spending cuts targeting a government program that gives loans to car companies to develop green technology.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid gets the 60 votes necessary to pass the bill.


  • The Senate will then move to formally approve the measure late Tuesday or early Wednesday, sending the bill back to the House.

    House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) will then decide whether to accept it and build a coalition of Democrats and Republicans to approve or reject it.


  • Revisit House version: Senate Democrats will have to decide if they want to resurrect and approve the House's version of the measure, which includes the spending offset for disaster relief which the Senate rejected Friday.
  • OR
  • Play chicken: Each side plays wait-and-see in hopes that the other side will drop demands as the deadline approaches.
  • OR
  • Negotiate another solution: Leaders in both parties can come up with an alternative to the offset that both sides can agree upon. Options include a smaller offsetting spending cut or a cut to a different program than the one the House Republicans slashed, the Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing loan program. The Federal Emergency Management Agency said its disaster relief funds may not go dry until Friday, which could potentially allow the House and Senate to set aside the dispute over the offsetting spending cut and pass a bill to fund the rest of the government through mid-November.

GRAPHIC: Rosalind S. Helderman, Emily Chow and Karen Yourish - The Washington Post. Published Sept. 26, 2011.