Tonight, Oregon counties are one step closer to stabilizing their depleting budgets, after Senator Gordon H. Smith voted to pass an economic stabilization package, which included a four year, $3.3 billion county payments extension.
"Tonight's vote is a big victory for Oregon counties in a long battle to keep sheriffs on the road and school doors open," said Smith. "The finish line is in reach and I will continue to fight for our struggling counties until this bill reaches the President's desk. I strongly urge my House colleagues to come together and deliver this critical funding before it is too late."
According to House leadership, the bill is expected to be considered in the House as early as Friday. The Administration urged support of the legislation.
Senator Smith has worked tirelessly to deliver county payments. Last week, he called on House and Senate leaders to come together to rescue Oregon's counties from falling off the fiscal cliff. Senator Smith also took to the Senate floor last week to urge his colleagues to vote in favor county payments.
Senator Smith's long history to restore county payments includes:
* Held countless meeting with Administration officials, Senate leadership and Oregon County Commissioners.
* At every opportunity, filed amendments to moving legislation to restore county payments.
* At the urging of Senator Smith, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell came to Oregon to meet with county officials to discuss the future of the county payments safety net in June of 2007.
* Successfully worked with Senator Wyden to help pass three bills in the Senate this Congress, which included a multi-year extension of county payments before the House held the bill up or stripped it out.