Senate Passes Education/Medicaid Assistance for States

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Senators have given final passage to a bill (H.R. 1586) which would provide education and Medicaid funding to states by a vote of 61-39.

The Senate scrapped text of the underlying House bill noted above and inserted the two funding provisions.  House members will return from recess next week in an attempt to pass the Senate bill.  They must adopt the exact bill, with no changes, before it can be sent to President Obama for his signature.

Prior to the final passage, members voted on two motions offered by Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC).  They were motions to suspend the rules and commit the bill back to committee (Finance) to make certain specified changes.  Sixty-seven votes are needed to adopt such a motion.

The first, defeated by a vote of 42-58, calls for a “permanent extension of the current marginal income tax rates with instructions to offset as necessary through spending reduction,” according to DeMint’s press office.

The second, defeated by a vote of 42-58, calls for a “permanent extension of individual income tax rates for small businesses with instructions to offset as necessary through spending reductions.”

According to POLITICO, the bill costs $26.1 billion.  It’s paid for.

New Congressional Budget Office estimates released Tuesday night show the revised bill would more than pay for itself, even reducing future deficits by $1.37 billion over the next decade.

Food stamp recipients would face an $11.9 billion rollback of added benefits first approved as part of the giant recovery bill last year. That translates into a reduction of about $47 a month for a family of three beginning in April 2014 or $516 over the first 12 months. And among budget experts, some believe that CBO’s $11.9 billion estimate understates the real savings.

At the same time, Reid risks the speaker’s wrath on the other side of the Capitol by rescinding $1.5 billion from an innovative technology program favored by Pelosi to promote renewable energy investments.

How the funds are allotted:

Indeed, Wednesday’s vote is the last best shot the White House has of recovering from its past errors and securing $10 billion in aid for state and local school boards to avert the threatened layoffs of tens of thousands of school teachers this fall.

The remaining $16.1 billion in the bill would go to help cash-strapped governors meet their Medicaid bills for the first six months of 2011.

(credit image – redgreenandblue)

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