Let’s hope the people still cleaning up after Hurricane Irene like their flooded towns and broken houses, because, at least for now, they’ll get to keep them.

The Senate on Friday rejected the GOP-led House’s bill to avert a government shutdown, intensifying a partisan standoff that many in Congress hoped to avoid. The vote was 59-36.

Democrats in the Senate, who are in the majority, oppose Republican efforts to roll back “green” energy programs to pay for aid for victims of Hurricane Irene and other disasters. They say disaster aid, usually a bipartisan issue, should not require cuts elsewhere — especially to programs creating green jobs — as the GOP majority in the House now demands.

The two sides are racing the clock, as the Federal Emergency Management Agency is expected to run out of disaster money Monday.

I said in a radio interview with KTRH in Houston yesterday that there wouldn’t be a shutdown, but now I’m not so sure. In the wake of Solyndra, you’d think the Democrats would be looking for ways to distance themselves from other green boondoggle funding. That’s obviously not the case. It’s just as obvious that they cannot stomach any federal funding cut at all unless it hits national defense or NASA. So after this, yes, there could be a shutdown.

I don’t think disaster relief is the hill for budget cutters to die on, but cutting green funding to pay for disaster relief ought to be a no-brainer.