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With government shutdown looming, Senate prepares to vote on spending bill

Democratic-led Senate expected to vote late Monday on spending bill that includes funding for FEMA disaster aid, but was rejected Friday because it included Republican-backed spending cuts targeting green energy programs.

Congress shutdown 09 26 2011Enlarge
U.S. Senate Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) (R) speaks as Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) (L), and Senate Majority Whip Sen. Richard Durbin (D-IL) listen during a news conference September 22, 2011 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. The Senate Democratic leaders discussed the Disaster Relief Funding at the news conference. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

The Senate is expected to vote late Monday on a federal spending bill that would provide emergency funding for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), which has nearly run out of disaster relief funds.

On Friday, the Democratic-led Senate rejected the House version of the bill, which includes about $1 trillion in government funding to keep the government funded through Nov. 18, including $3.7 billion for FEMA disaster aid, CBS News reports. The bill also includes $1.6 billion in Republican-backed spending cuts targeting green energy programs. 

FEMA is running short of funds to help the victims of Hurricane Irene, Tropical Storm Lee, and other natural disasters. Victims of the flooding disasters say Congress is letting people suffer while it continues its partisan bickering, The New York Times reports.

More from GlobalPost: Disaster aid sparks new spending fight in Congress

If Congress fails to pass the spending bill by Sept. 30, the government will be forced to shut down.

"For the second time in nine months, lawmakers are bickering and posturing over spending plans," the Associated Press says.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is expected to hold a vote Monday at 5:30 p.m. on a bill that does not include the Republican-proposed spending cuts. Work is continuing throughout Monday after little progress was made over the weekend to bridge the gap between Republicans and Democrats, Bloomberg reports.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/americas/united-states/110926/congress-shutdown-government-crisis-spending-fema