Senate aide: FEMA has more money than thought

September 26, 2011 - 12:10 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — A Senate aide says the government's disaster aid fund has enough money to last until Thursday, two days longer than earlier predicted.

The change might point the way out of a standoff that is holding up passage of legislation to prevent a partial government shutdown.

Robert Sawicki, a spokesman for Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu, said the latest estimate from FEMA is that it has $114 million left in the account. Landrieu chairs a key subcommittee, and told reporters last week the agency estimated the money could run out as early as Tuesday.

The difference is significant. If the most recent estimate is accurate, it's possible the agency won't need any additional funds until the new budget year begins, and the cause for the current outbreak of gridlock will disappear.

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