Blog Posts

House Republican Leader John Boehner: Jobs for Teachers and Cops in States Across America Don't Matter

August 10, 2010

Today, hours before the House voted 247-161 to pass a bill to create and save 319,000 American jobs, House Republican Leader John Boehner repeated his opposition to the bill, telling reporters that the states are on their own:

“We are broke. We do not have the money to bail out the states. It's time for them to get their arms around their own problems,” he told reporters.

Interesting, given the GOP's support for extending the deficit-busting Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest few, which would blow a $700 billion hole in our deficit.

States, local communities and American workers need this critical legislation. In a letter today to Speaker Pelosi and House Republican Leader Boehner, 14 Governors called for the swift passage of this bill:

“For months Governors on a bipartisan basis have urged action to pass legislation providing for additional aid to states to help us avoid massive layoffs of teachers, and state and local government employees including police and fire personnel, health center staff and those who care for the elderly, disabled or very sick… ” [8/10/10; Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter, Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn, Kansas Gov. Mark Parkinson, Kentucky Gov. Steven Beshear, Maine Gov. John Baldacci, Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm, New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, New York Gov. David Paterson, North Carolina Gov. Bev Perdue, Oklahoma Gov. Brad Henry, Oregon Gov. Theodore Kulongoski, Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell, Washington Gov. Christine Gregoire, Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle]

The National Conference of State Legislatures and the National Association of Counties — bipartisan organizations representing state and local leaders across the country — are also on record supporting this legislation:

National Conference of State Legislatures:

“The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) urges your support for a six-month extension of an enhanced Medicaid match (FMAP), as provided for in H.R. 1586. The enhanced FMAP was originally enacted to provide assistance to states to meet increased obligations, as a result of high unemployment and increased Medicaid enrollment. Unfortunately, the need for the enhanced match remains.

“This six-month extension is not a 'bail out.' Economic recovery remains slow and states continue to be subject to a very stringent maintenance of effort requirement that prohibits our colleagues from changing Medicaid eligibility requirements or creating barriers to application and enrollment through 2013. If Congress fails to extend the enhanced FMAP states will have no alternative but to cut essential services such as public safety, corrections and other services for vulnerable populations in order to pay for the congressionally-mandated maintenance of effort in the Medicaid program.” [Letter to Speaker Pelosi and Republican Leader Boehner, 8/9/10; NCSL President Sen. Richard Moore and Immediate Past President Sen. Don Balfour]

National Association of Counties:

“The legislation is fully paid for, fiscally responsible and comes at a critical time for our nation’s 3,068 counties. The National Association of Counties (NACo) strongly supports the bill…

“The legislation being considered this week will provide much needed relief to the residents who have been hurt most by the recession and who rely on essential county-provided health care safety net services. Direct federal funding to state and local governments – including counties – would efficiently help retain and create public and private sectors jobs, and help alleviate some of the strain on tight budgets.” [Letter to Speaker Pelosi and Republican Leader Boehner, 8/9/10; NACo Executive Director Larry Naake]

The legislation passed today:

Saves and creates more than 319,000 American jobs — including teachers, nurses, firefighters, and police officers

Is fully paid-for by closing costly corporate tax loopholes that allow corporations to ship American jobs overseas

Reduces the deficit by $1.4 billion, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office

Democrats are committed to moving America forward — creating good-paying American jobs and providing tax-cuts for the middle-class. We are not going back.