WASHINGTON (CN) – The House will return from its summer recess Tuesday to vote on a bill that would provide $26 billion in aid to states to help prevent teacher layoffs and make up for state budget shortfalls.
The bill, which the Senate passed with a 61-39 vote on Aug. 5, would direct $10 billion to state and local school systems to help pay teachers’ salaries, and would provide $16 billion in federal assistance to states to help offset Medicaid costs and prevent deeper budget cuts.
The bill is estimated to save 140,000 jobs for teachers, firefighters, policemen and civil employees.
After the Senate voted to end debate on the bill on Aug. 4, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., announced via Twitter that she would call House members back from their break.
“I will be calling the House back into session early next week to save teachers’ jobs and help seniors & children,” she tweeted.
The House left for its August recess on July 30.
Republicans have accused Democrats of pushing the bill to please teacher unions and special interest groups before fall elections.
House Republican Leader John Boehner of Ohio called the measure a “pay-off to union bosses and liberal special interests.” He said it was the result of Democrats’ “addiction to more government ‘stimulus’ spending.”
In response, Democratic Rep. Chris Van Hollen of Maryland said in a statement, “Incredibly, the Republican Leader John Boehner disparagingly referred to those who teach our children, protect our homes, and keep our streets safe as ‘special interests.’ Washington Republicans are opposed to supporting our teachers, firefighters, and policemen at home in order to protect corporate tax loopholes that promote the export of American jobs.”
Democrats said the bill was about saving jobs in a recession.
President Obama called it a measure “ensuring that teachers across the country can stay in the classroom and cash-strapped states can get the relief they need.”
The House will meet at 10 a.m. Tuesday and is expected to be in session for only one day.