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Public Statements

Education Jobs and Medicaid Assistance Act

Floor Speech

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Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. BROUN of Georgia. Madam Speaker, due to a previously scheduled commitment, I was unable to return to Washington, DC, on August 10, 2010, to cast my vote in opposition to rollcall No. 518, the ``Education Jobs and Medicaid Assistance Act,'' incorporated as a Senate Amendment to H.R. 1589.

This bill is nothing more than another state bailout that prevents states from making responsible budgetary decisions while increasing federal deficit spending. It provides $26.1 billion in temporary state education and Medicaid assistance paid for through a combination of permanent federal tax increases, spending rescissions from the Stimulus Act, and questionable accounting methods from the Food Stamp Program.

As a condition of receiving the federal education funds, states are forbidden from reducing educational expenditures below 2009 levels and must use the funds to pay for teacher salaries. This assistance is similar to the State Fiscal Stabilization Fund created in the first stimulus that has already distributed $53 billion to states' education budgets and, in many cases, was used for teacher salary raises--not to meet funding gaps. Providing more federal funding to states' education budgets will further delay the states from making sensible reforms to ease their budgetary pressures. Similarly, this bill will extend the federal Medicaid matching rate--also created in the stimulus--until June 2011, creating more state dependency on the federal government.

The American people are witnessing the results of this administration's extraordinary deficit spending, and it is not yielding the promised low unemployment and increased job growth. With the national unemployment rate still at 9.5 percent and existing historic deficits, it is time for the federal government to rein in its spending and allow the states to take responsibility for their own budgets.

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