Today, Congressman Al Green (TX-09), in a special session of Congress voted in favor of the Education Jobs and Medicaid Assistance Act (H.R. 1586). This measure, which passed the Senate on August 5th, passed the U.S. House of Representatives by a vote of 247-161.
This legislation will save and create more than 319,000 jobs, including 161,000 teacher jobs, according to estimates from the U.S. Department of Education. In addition, this bill will also include $16.1 billion in critical health assistance for local governments that are facing disastrous budget shortfalls. In passing this bill, Congress has provided states and municipalities with the necessary funding to prevent imminent layoffs of police officers, firefighters and medical professionals.
"To provide our students with the opportunity to learn we must guarantee that they have access to a first class education system so that our nation will be a leading competitor as they enter the global job market. This bill sets the tone for an improved and academically competitive education system," Congressman Al Green said.
He continued: "The bill also provides $16.1 billion in health assistance to the states that will save and create 158,000 jobs, including preventing the layoffs of police officers and firefighters, as well as creating private-sector jobs throughout our economy."
Congressman Al Green, while stressing the historic significance of this legislation, signed a letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi, along with other Members of the House, expressing his concern about funding provisions for H.R. 1586, which will come from monies subtracted from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
In their letter, Green and other Representatives requested that the House postpone consideration of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act (S. 3307), submitted by the Senate, until after Members return from the August district work period. In addition, the letter asks House Leadership to find appropriate offsets for the bill and consider scheduling the House version of S. 3307, entitled Improving Nutrition for America's Children Act (H.R. 5504), as opposed to the Senate version.