Today the House held a special session to consider the Senate amendment to H.R. 1586, the Education Jobs and Medicaid Assistance Act, which contains $26.1 billion federal bailout for states. Of the $26.1 billion, $16.1 billion would provide six more months of increased Medicaid reimbursements to states and the remaining $10 billion would prevent teacher layoffs. These offsets are paid by a variety of various spending recessions from the stimulus and permanent tax increases.
"We've spent millions of dollars to bring everybody back for a problem everyone has known about. This is governing by reaction," said Congressman Kingston. "It is not Congress' job to take care of the excesses of states that are unable or unwilling to make the tough decisions that smaller states, small businesses, and American families have to make every day. I have voted no on all the bailouts and did so again today."
With the $10 billion that would go towards preventing teacher layoffs, the bill stipulates that the education funding must be distributed by the Department of Education through their respective funding formulas or based on each district's share of Title I funds. Sates may only use the funds to pay employee salaries and the bill prohibits the funds be used to reduce state debt.
The remaining $16.1 billion would extend the federal Medicaid matching rate of 6.2 percent to all states through December 2010. The legislation would then begin to phase down the FMAP increase to 3.2 percent for the first three months of 2011 and 1.2 percent from April through June 2011. This provision would cost $16.1 billion over ten years.
"I have news for Speaker Pelosi and the Obama Administration, if you transfer a huge debt on your American Express card to your Visa card, you haven't paid for anything," Congressman Kingston continued. "For every dollar we spend, forty-one cents is borrowed. Which is the case today, it's all about money. Now, we could be up here looking at Medicare and Social Security as the trustees report just came back and said they are both going broke. Instead it's another bailout and another promise of governmental utopia. If we just bailout this one class group jobs will return, the deficit will be balanced, and there will be peace from sea to shining sea. It's not going to work. This is a bailout congress. It's government by bailout. It's government by borrowed money and our children's children will be paying for this."
H.R. 1586 was originally the FAA Air Transportation Modernization and Safety Improvement Act. The House). The House-passed text of the FAA authorization was replaced in the Senate with an amendment sponsored by Sens. Reid (D-NV) and Murray (D-WA) which includes $26.1 billion in federal bailouts for states that is partially offset with permanent tax increases and rescissions. It passed the Senate on Thursday, August 5, 2010.