Yesterday, the Senate finally overcame a Republican filibuster to approve $26 billion in funding to bolster state budgets, including $10 billion to prevent massive teacher layoffs. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has announced that she will interrupt the House’s August recess in order to hold a session to pass the bill, instead of waiting to pass it in September. But House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) slammed Pelosi’s decision to call the House back into session, calling the funding a “payoff to union bosses and liberal special interests”:
The American people don’t want more Washington ‘stimulus’ spending – especially in the form of a pay-off to union bosses and liberal special interests. This stunning display of tone-deafness comes at the expense of American workers, who will be hit by another job-killing tax hike because Washington Democrats can’t kick their addiction to more government ‘stimulus’ spending. Democrats should be listening to their constituents – who are asking ‘where are the jobs?’ – instead of scampering back to Washington to push through more special interest bailouts and job-killing tax hikes.
As the Wonk Room explained, this bill is deficit neutral, so there is no “tax hike” necessary. But more importantly, does Boehner really consider teachers, firefighters, and police officers “special interests”? Overall, the funding will save the jobs of about 300,000 workers, including about 140,000 school employees, and according to the Department of Education, 5,000 teaching jobs in Boehner’s home state of Ohio will be preserved.
Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) released the following statement this morning: “Incredibly, the Republican Leader John Boehner disparagingly referred to those who teach our children, protect our homes, and keep our streets safe as ‘special interests.’ Washington Republicans are opposed to supporting our teachers, firefighters, and policemen at home in order to protect corporate tax loopholes that promote the export of American jobs.”