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Congress delays budget fight until Monday

The Congress set the stage for another last-minute budget showdown as lawmakers delayed action on a broad spending bill until Monday, shortly before disaster relief funds will run out completely.

This time, the brinkmanship threatens to disrupt assistance to victims of floods, wildfires and other natural disasters in one of the most extreme years for weather in U.S. history.

That money could run out as soon as Tuesday, but Republicans and Democrats appeared no closer to a solution after a week of legislative maneuvering.

A billion-dollar dispute over an electric-vehicle program favored by Democrats is preventing Congress from passing a trillion-dollar bill that would replenish disaster funds and ensure the government keeps running past October 1, the start of the new fiscal year.

"Everyone, once in a while, needs a little cooling off," Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid said. "We'll come here Monday and more reasonable heads will prevail."

Reid spoke after the Democratic-controlled Senate, by a vote of 59 to 36, rejected a version that had passed the Republican-led House of Representatives.