WASHINGTON (CN) – The Senate voted 61-39 Thursday to approve a bill that would provide $26 billion in aid to states to help prevent teacher layoffs and make up for state budget shortfalls. The House will return from its August recess next week to vote on the measure.
“I will be calling the House back into session early next week to save teachers’ jobs and help seniors & children,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., announced in a Twitter message after a procedural vote in the Senate Wednesday.
Republican Sens. Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe of Maine voted with majority Democrats in favor of the bill.
The bill, if signed into law, would provide $10 billion to state and local education systems to pay teachers’ salaries and would provide $16 billion to states to help offset Medicaid costs and help states make up for budget shortfalls
The bill is estimated to save 140,000 jobs for teachers, firefighters, policemen and civil employees.
The costs of the bill are fully offset by cuts in federal spending.
Republicans complained that the bill was about favoring special interest groups, while Democrats said it was about saving jobs in a recession.