In a major blow to the Republican leadership, the U.S. House on Wednesday defeated a temporary spending measure that would have required spending cuts to offset additional money for federal disaster relief efforts.
The vote was 195-230, with 48 Republicans joining all but a handful of minority Democrats in opposing the short-term spending plan that would keep the government funded for seven weeks after the end of the fiscal year on September 30.
After the result, House Republican leaders met in Speaker John Boehner's office to decide if they would revise the measure and hold another vote on Thursday. Options under consideration included removing or changing the spending offsets opposed by Democrats, or reducing the total amount of spending to appease conservative Republicans.
At issue was a short-term bill to fund government agencies through November 18 that would allocate fewer resources to the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers for disaster response than the Democratic-led Senate approved last week.
Additional funds are needed because of recent major floods from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee along the East Coast, and wildfires in Texas that required emergency responses exceeding the amount the agencies have left in their coffers to support recovery and rebuilding efforts.
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