With relatively few defections from the caucus, House Democrats passed a bill providing $26.1 billion dollars to states for their Medicaid programs and education budgets, by a count of 247-161. All Democrats but 3 supported the bill, and all Republicans but 2 opposed it. The specific tallies will be released shortly.
Earlier, Democrats passed the rule on the bill with more Democratic defections, 229-173.
The bill will reduce the deficit by $1.3 billion dollars, and is paid for by a combination of removing tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas and major cuts to the expanded food stamps program starting in 2014. House liberals have vowed to restore the funding to the SNAP program before the cuts take effect. In exchange, the money for Medicaid and education budgets is expected to save 318,000 jobs. AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka released a statement saying that “Today’s vote means that hundreds of thousands of teachers, firefighters and public safety officers will keep their jobs. It will prevent layoffs and provide aid to struggling state and local governments so that critical services aren’t cut … With today’s vote, House Republicans showed they value Wall Street and tax cuts for the rich over teachers, police and firefighters. This is yet another example in the laundry list of anti-jobs votes they’ve taken … Come November working people will remember who stood for jobs and who stood in the way.”
The President argued for the state aid bill in a White House press availability today, and will sign the bill quickly.
The House completed all of their work in the one-day session, passing the state fiscal aid bill and a border security measure which requires further Senate action. The House also tabled a GOP motion to block the chamber from convening during a lame duck session, by a vote of 236-163. Only six Democrats joined the Republicans on that vote (Idaho’s Mike Simpson (R) voted with the Dems).
UPDATE: Joseph Cao and Mike Castle were the Republicans who sided with the Democrats on the bill. The President will sign it tonight, according to Nancy Pelosi.