By Manuel Quinones
Congress passed and President Obama signed legislation designed to save thousands of teacher jobs around the region. The Senate approved it last week after months of delay and the House came back from summer recess yesterday to pass it.
The $26 billion measure will help save 200 teacher jobs in the District, 3,800 in Virginia and 2,200 in Maryland. Not only that, states and the District are getting millions of dollars to foot the bill for Medicaid health coverage for the poor. And that will help prevent further budget cuts.
Maryland Eastern Shore Democrat Frank Kratovil says the measure will help governments around the region deal with the ongoing economic slump.
“We’re on the way out, but we’re not out yet. State revenues are down. They are going to face serious consequences if we don’t continue that assistance,” says Kratovil.
Kratovil is a fiscally conservative Democrat in a tough re-election race. And he has spoken out against large spending measures before. He says this latest one is different because the cost is offset.
Still, many Republicans, like Northern Maryland Congressman Roscoe Bartlett, see the legislation as a bailout of states and another spending measure America can’t afford.