House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Wednesday she would have lawmakers return early from their summer recess next week to vote on $26.1 billion in aid for states to avert layoffs of teachers and cuts to other essential services.
The Senate is expected to pass the spending legislation Thursday over the objections of Republicans who have criticized the Democrats for adding to federal deficits.
In a news release, Pelosi said:
“The House welcomes the passage tomorrow by the Senate of the long-delayed support for teachers, nurses and urgent services for children and seniors and people with disabilities. The House passed the state assistance (FMAP) bill twice last year and the funding to keep teachers on the job in December and this spring.
“As millions of children prepare to go back to school – many in just a few days -- the House will act quickly to approve this legislation once the Senate votes. In consultation with our leadership, I am calling Members of the House back to Washington at the beginning of the week to pass this bill and send it to President Obama without further delay.”
With mid-terms approaching, the billions of dollars of assistance to states should allow Democrats to argue to voters that they, and not Republicans, understand the level of pain being experienced across states and are actually doing something about it.
How much it will help Democrats in what is expected to be a difficult re-election year for them remains a large question.