Senate reaches deal to avert government shutdown, preserves auto funds

The U.S. Senate approved a stop-gap funding measure to stave off a looming government shut down on Monday. At the same time, lawmakers have also managed to keep from cutting a special fund designed to help automakers retool their manufacturing centers for more fuel-efficient models. The Detroit News reports that Republicans in the House of Representatives wanted to cut funding from the Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Loan Program to free up funds to direct toward the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Last week, FEMA announced that the agency only had enough funds to carry its relief efforts through Friday. The new stop-gap measure funds FEMA along with the rest of the federal government through November 18.

Democrats in Congress want to use federal funds to spur job creation, especially in the green sector, while Republicans argue that federal spending is already out of control and damaging the nation's economy. The two groups have repeatedly locked horns over the national budget in the past few months.

Officially, the Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Loan Program has saved or created around 40,000 jobs since its creation in 2007. Of the $7.2 billion originally set aside for the fund, around $4 billion remains, according to The Detroit News. The money has been used for projects by both Ford and Nissan.

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