Today, Rep. Ben Ray Luján voted to protect jobs for teachers, firefighters and police officers. The Education Jobs and Medicaid Assistance Act passed the House by a vote of 247 to 161.
"During these difficult economic times, many communities are struggling to keep teachers in the classroom, police officers on the beat and firefighters on duty," said Rep. Luján. "With the passage of this legislation, we're protecting jobs for teachers, firefighters, and police officers while reducing the deficit."
The Education Jobs and Medicaid Assistance Act has $10 billion to help save an estimated 160,000 teacher jobs including an estimated 1,100 jobs in New Mexico. The legislation also increased Medicaid funding for states, which will help states provide health services while they struggle to fill budget shortfalls. In June, Rep. Luján led a bipartisan group of his Congressional colleagues to send a letter to House leadership requesting the Medicaid extension.
"Many states have been deeply hurt by the economic downturn," said Rep. Luján. "By passing this legislation, we're helping to ensure that people can continue to receive the health services they need without forcing states to cut other important services or raise taxes. And the legislation is fiscally responsible. It is fully paid for and it reduces the deficit."
According to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, the legislation reduces the deficit by $1.4 billion over 10 years. It is fully paid for by closing tax loopholes that allow corporations to ship jobs overseas.