A $26 billion state aid package was approved by Congress (and will be signed by the President) that saves thousands of state teaching and government worker jobs. The package provides $16.1 billion to extend (for six months) Medicaid funding for states, known as FMAP. The measure also provides $10 billion for a fund Democrats say will avert 138,000 state employee layoffs. It passed with the limited support of Republicans.
In a statement issued in the White House Rose Garden, the president said the bill would prevent the layoff of not only educators but essential state employees, including “police officers, firefighters, nurses and first responders.” Funding for the bill was in part created by closing tax loopholes that encourage corporations to ship American jobs overseas — so it will not add to our deficit.
The package actually reduces the deficit by $1.4 billion over 10 years. However a number of original measures were scaled back to pay for this bill. This includes removing the extension of the bush tax cuts for all income earners and a $12 billion scale-back of food stamp stimulus payments (which will hurt millions of low income earners). No extension of the 2010 $250 SSI payment was included in the bill as some readers had alluded.
The official bill is H.R.1586 was approved in a special house session. I will provide further updates and encourage you to subscribe (free) to get the latest news.