While the economy heads rapidly towards a double dip recession—if it’s not already there– Congress plays its usual political games and once again a government shutdown looms large.

Despite the House approving what was believed the major sticking point in a bipartisan agreement to keep the government from locking its doors next week, a $3.7 billion disaster aid measure and continuing resolution, the leader of the Senate Harry Reid, D-Nev., promised that Democrats will kill the bill when it arrives in the Senate Friday.

Senator Harry Reid

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev. (Image by DonkeyHotey)

Democrats are insisting on a much larger infusion of cash into FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and they’re upset over $1.5 trillion House Republicans removed from clean energy loan programs.

With the Solyndra scandal beginning to ramp up, Harry Reid’s timing on green technology loans is dubious at best. Now the country is faced with all-out political warfare right up to the point that the lights are turned out; worse yet people effected by the East Coast earthquake and Hurricane Irene are in a holding pattern as FEMA hits the funding wall early next week.

Any sense of bipartisanship, which hung by a mere thread after the debt ceiling battles of the summer, is lost as Congressional leaders begin to focus more and more on the next election. Any hope of a compromise on President Obama’s jobs bill has completely evaporated.

The congressional supercommittee is now facing parties so widely in opposition that its goal of reaching an agreement on debt reduction, that was shaky to start with, now seems little better than a pipe dream.

Asking House members to fully fund alternative energy loan programs so soon after the revelations on Solyndra was a non-starter. Heaping on $3.7 trillion in funding for FEMA, that has received wide criticism for its poor money-management was more than House Republicans could bear; cuts to the loan program that resulted in the Solyndra was the only means to garner enough support to squeak the bill through the House.

Rather than accepting a partial victory, as the House Republicans did, Senate Democrats are enraged and are promising to kill the bill.

“We’re fed up with this,” said Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois, the Democratic Whip. “They know what it takes for us to extend (stopgap funding) and keep the government in business. And this brinksmanship … we’re sick of it.”

As thing stand now, the government will shut down next Friday at midnight and FEMA will run out of money in a few days.

“The Senate should pass this bill immediately, and the president should sign it, because any political games will delay FEMA money that suffering American families desperately need,” said Michael Steel, spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio.

Senate Democrats are demanding full funding of disaster aid programs be included in any continuing resolution and no cuts to energy technology loan programs, virtually guarantying another episode of dysfunctional government theater.

What are we paying for this?

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