State-aid jobs bill on its way to the Oval Office

STATE-AID JOBS BILL ON ITS WAY TO THE OVAL OFFICE…. Late last week, the Senate overcame a Republican filibuster and passed a state aid package, including $10 billion to save the jobs of teachers, firefighters, and police officers, and $16.1 billion in state Medicaid funding (FMAP). The package, which is fully paid for, passed 61 to 38, with all but two Republicans in opposition.

The House interrupted its August recess to come back to the House today, specifically to vote on this bill in emergency session. There was some talk that antsy Dems might balk at the notion of additional spending — even to save hundreds of thousands of jobs — but when the dust cleared this afternoon, the House had done the right thing.

The House on Tuesday approved 247-161 a $26 billion state-aid bill that will funnel $10 billion to education funding and $16 billion to Medicaid.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) contends the legislation will save or create 319,000 jobs, which includes positions for teachers, police officers and firefighters.

Republican opposition pointed primarily to the bill closing a loophole that currently allows U.S. multinational companies to take advantage of foreign tax credits.

President Obama, who’d been lobbying for the legislation, will reportedly sign the measure into law tonight. What’s more, the White House blog has an item touting the significance of the bill.

All told, as many as 900,000 public and private sector jobs could have been lost if this bill weren’t passed — the last thing our economy needs. Keeping these Americans at work, whether they are teachers in the classroom or police keeping our streets safe, will also help ensure that the economic recovery keeps moving forward. With the House and Senate both having passed this legislation now, the President will sign it quickly.

Update: In a statement, DNC Chairman Tim Kaine raises a noteworthy point: “There could not be a better example of the differences in priorities between Republicans and Democrats than this legislation. While Democrats are working to help preserve the jobs of hundreds of thousands of teachers, firefighters, police officers and others, Republicans continue to obstruct legislation while supporting tax cuts that would only benefit Wall Street CEOs and other wealthy Americans. Even after Democrats made every effort to reach out to GOP lawmakers, Republicans fought tooth-and-nail against this critical legislation — refusing to help those who continue to struggle because of the failed Republican economic policies of the past. This stark difference in priorities could not be more clear to the American people, who now have yet another reminder of which party is on their side.”

Second Update: Here’s the roll call. Only two Republicans voted for the jobs bill, while 158 opposed it. Among Dems, 245 supported the measure, while three Blue Dogs voted against it.