The word from Senate aides and interest groups working the cloture vote today in the Senate on state aid and teacher funding is not optimistic. While Mark Begich decided to stay in town for the vote, it appears that all of the Republicans remain hellbent on putting the country back into a recession to try to get some electoral gain in November.
The Senate Dem caucus sent out this memo earlier today.
Now, Republicans are looking to head into August with a foursome of job-killing obstruction by trying to kill:
- State aid which would save thousands police officers and firefighters from getting laid off
- A teachers jobs measure which would help states retain 130,000 K-12 teachers
- An energy bill that would create up to 700,000 jobs
- A small business bill which would help small business owners create 500,000 jobs
And all this comes on the heels of Republicans’ tenacious defense of the reckless Wall Street executives whose irresponsible gambling led us into the financial crisis that cost 8 million Americans their jobs....
On preventing the layoffs of teachers, firefighters and policemen, their old excuse was they didn’t like the way it was paid for. We changed the pay-for. So what will their new excuse be?
The White House adds, in a memo sent out from the Office of Management and Budget:
The Administration strongly supports Senate passage of Amendment 4567 to H.R. 1586, which would provide much-needed relief to teachers and critical assistance to hard-pressed States. Since teachers are essential to the quality of education that the Nation affords its children and to America's long-term strength and security, the Administration strongly supports the $10 billion Education Jobs Fund to avert the layoff of hundreds of thousands of public school teachers as students return to school in the coming months. The Administration strongly supports the extension of the temporary increase in the Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP) for six months through June 2011, which will provide critical assistance to States to help them maintain their Medicaid programs during a period of high enrollment growth and reduced State revenue. In addition, to provide this assistance in a fiscally responsible way, the amendment includes revenue-raising provisions similar to those included in the President's Budget, including proposals to close international tax loopholes that currently allow multinational corporations to inappropriately lower their U.S. taxes.
Senate Dems have had to bend over backwards to try to get Collins and Snowe on board, and that includes paying for this bill by robbing the food stamp program, because they've caught deficit fever from their Republican colleagues. And guess which two Senators are also supporting extending the Bush tax cuts to the rich? We'll find out in a few hours if they're willing to sacrifice hundreds of thousands of middle class jobs at the altar of tax cuts for the rich.
The vote on cloture should occur around
5:00 5:45 EDT.