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Disaster Relief Funding Fractures Republicans

Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call
Sen. Mary Landrieu makes a statement Tuesday during a Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security markup of the fiscal 2012 Homeland Security appropriations bill.

Additionally, conservative activists outside of the House could also put significant pressure on their ideological brethren to ignore the budget deal and demand further cuts. “I think there will be some angst amongst grass-roots activists over that. ... But I think it’s too soon to tell” whether it will become a full-blown problem for leadership, a conservative activist said Tuesday.

Another possible route could be a stand-alone emergency supplemental spending bill. Senate Appropriations Chairman Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii) said he is exploring how best to provide the disaster funding.

The question of a separate disaster bill is also a political one, given Senate Democratic leaders are gaming out whether it might be advantageous to confront Republicans on a clean disaster measure, rather than one muddied by other federal spending.

John Stanton contributed to this report.

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