Tuesday, September 30, 2008

US House Passes Economic Stimulus Bill

Lost amid all the noise surrounding the Wall Street bailout debate, the House on Friday passed an economic stimulus package that would benefit working families broadly and WFSE members specifically. The following is an excerpt from Monday's AFSCME Legislative Report:

"Thanks to efforts of AFSCME activists across the nation, AFSCME scored an important legislative victory when the House passed an economic stimulus package (H.R. 7110) by a vote of 264-158 on Friday. Forty-one Republicans supported the package despite a veto threat from the Administration...

The bill would provide states with $14.4 billion in fiscal relief by providing temporary additional federal support of state Medicaid programs. The bill would also grow our economy and create jobs through a $30 billion investment in infrastructure. It would help maintain a basic standard of living for families by extending unemployment benefits for Americans looking for work and providing $2.6 billion for additional food stamp assistance.

Earlier in the day, by a vote of 52 to 42, Senate Republicans blocked consideration of an economic recovery package by threatening a filibuster. The bill, stymied by Republican Senators, would have provided $19.6 billion in temporary additional federal support for state Medicaid programs. The bill would have provided $490 million for Byrne Justice Assistance Grants to support state and local communities and other important assistance to state and local governments. It also included funds to avert staffing cuts for child support enforcement...

Congress will hopefully address the need for real economic assistance as soon as possible in the new Congress which will convene in January with a new president in the White house. The strong bi-partisan vote in the House hopefully lays a
foundation for swift congressional action."

Both of our US Senators, Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell, supported this measure. All of the Washington delegation in the US House supported it except for Doc Hastings and Cathy McMorris Rodgers. We truly appreciate the support from our Congressional representatives who voted for this bill.

Most of us realize that decisions made in Washington DC can have a significant impact on our jobs and our lives. The AFSCME Legislative Report is a great way to stay informed, and you can have it e-mailed to you every week by signing up here. -- Dennis

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