Today, Congressman Sires joined his colleagues in the House of Representatives in passing the Senate Amendment to H.R. 1586, the Education Jobs and Medicaid Assistance Act by a vote of 247 to 161. This bill will provide $10 billion in funding for education jobs and $16.1 billion for increased federal matching for Medicaid to address pending needs. The cost of H.R. 1586 is fully offset, and the Congressional Budget Office estimates that enactment of this bill will reduce the deficit by $1.37 billion dollars over ten years.
"This bill will not only create or save 319,000 jobs across the country, but it will add to the ongoing efforts to reduce our country's deficit," said Congressman Sires. "I am proud to vote for this bill, and I am proud that the Senate and the House were able to come together and support this vital funding."
In February 2009, President Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act into law to get the economy back on track. The Recovery Act has already obligated nearly $11 billion to New Jersey. The law has supported critical programs and projects in New Jersey communities, it has provided expanded assistance to 860,000 unemployed workers, and it has supported 16,000 teaching jobs in the State. The Recovery Act also provided increased federal Medicaid matching rates (FMAP) for all states to address increasing caseloads. The Education Jobs and Medicaid Assistance Act will continue additional federal assistance for Medicaid until June 2011. H.R. 1586 will also provide $10 billion to support 161,000 teacher jobs. This money is designed to be in place for the upcoming school year to prevent layoffs in schools throughout the country.
"With the passage of H.R. 1586, New Jersey will receive an estimated $268 million in additional funding to support approximately 3,900 education jobs, and $399 million for FMAP, a total of $667 million in overall aid. This money will support our teachers and health care access, while preventing devastating cuts to other top priority programs, like public safety officers," stated Sires. "It is estimated that the 13th District alone will receive $40 million to support 594 jobs in K-12 education," added Sires.
H.R. 1586 will now go to the President for his signature.