Update: Congress passes supplemental stimulus “bailout” to state governments

Posted by AzBlueMeanie:

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Update to Congress to pass supplemental stimulus "bailout" to state governments.

The House passed the $26 billion supplemental stimulus "bailout" to state governments today on a vote of 247-161 mostly along party lines. Republicans said Congress was coming to the rescue of states that had mishandled their own finances. (That's rich coming from the guys who nearly destroyed the world's economy and financial system with their economic policies).

GOP to state governments: "Drop Dead!" (circa 1975 Gerald Ford). House Passes $26 Billion in State Aid – NYTimes.com:

Its backers said that it would keep tens of thousands of public school teachers, government employees and emergency workers on the job and help cash-stapped states provide health care [Medicaid] to the poor.

“Keep our teachers, our police, our fire personnel on the job,” Representative Steny Hoyer, Democrat of Maryland and the majority leader, said. “Make America better.”

* * *

Democrats noted that the $26 billion costs of the measure would not be added to the deficit, with its costs offset by closing a tax loophole on companies that do businesses overseas as well as by making future cuts in food stamp spending.

* * *

House members also approved $600 million in new border enforcement spending approved by the Senate last week. But because of a jurisdictional issue between the House and Senate, the measure must be approved one more time by the Senate before it can be sent to the White House. Senate leaders were exploring whether they could win approval of the measure in a brief session next week without forcing all members to return to Washington.

Daily Kos adds: "Without this money, the picture is even worse. The Center for Budget and Policy Priorities has a chart showing what's at stake for each of the states[.]"

In addition Democrats dispensed with a Republican attempt to shut down the federal government between the start of the October recess and the swearing-in of the new Congress in January over GOP fears of a "lame duck" session. And what if we were to suffer another fiscal or economic calamity like we did in 2008 or, God forbid, an act of war or terrorism during this government shutdown? Not such a bright idea, now is it? The public was decisively opposed to the GOP government shutdown in 1995 when Newt Gingrich pulled this lame-ass stunt.

Daily Kos further adds:

Just last week, House Republican Leader John Boehner referred to this legislation to protect hard-working American’s jobs as a "special interest bailout."

Special interests? Really? The legislation will save or create more than 319,000 American jobs—20,000 more teacher jobs than reflected in previous estimates from the Department of Education (161,000 teacher jobs saved and 158,000 jobs created or saved, including police officers, firefighters and nurses). These funds are needed immediately to prevent layoffs and actually rehire teachers and prevent law enforcement officers from losing their jobs.

Congressional Republicans would rather extend the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest few and saddle Americans with a $700 billion bill than support legislation that:

Saves and creates more than 319,000 American jobs – including teachers, nurses, firefighters, and police officers;

Is fully paid-for by closing costly corporate tax loopholes that allow corporations to ship American jobs overseas;

Reduces the deficit by $1.4 billion, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.

That's good messaging to take into the fight against Republicans over the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy, which Republicans remain steadfastly committed to, even though they admit it would "dig the hole deeper" on the deficit. They don't really care about the deficit, just as they don't care one whit about the middle class, about stabilizing this economy and bringing back good jobs. They proved that again today, when only two (Cao and Castle) of them voted to throw this lifeline to the states.

The President will sign the bill tonight.

Which brings me back to the question I posed to our radical Republicans in the Arizona Legislature last week:

Will Jan Brewer and extremists like Sen. Russell Pearce rail against the federal stimulus "bailout" to Arizona and posture and pontificate that the state should reject the federal stimulus aid in favor of slash and burn budget cuts that would decimate the state in the interest of ideological purity? Or will our Accidental Governor accept the federal stimulus "bailout" funds with hat in hand and then have the unmitigated gall to claim credit for the jobs saved by this Democratic bill?

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