So Much For That Summer Break: House ‘Likely’ to Return for Vote on State Aid Package

By Alex Pepper

Aug 4, 2010 3:20pm

ABC News’ Matthew Jaffe reports: A Democratic aide told ABC News Wednesday that it is “likely” the House will interrupt its summer recess to come back into session to pass the $26 billion state fiscal aid package that overcame a Republican filibuster in the Senate earlier today. The scenario is still being discussed at the current time, sources said, but it does appear that this will indeed happen, possibly next week. A final decision is expected soon. The House has to pass the bill before it can be sent to President Obama for his signature. Earlier today Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said, “It’s going to be very difficult for the House to be away from Washington for five weeks while we have this legislation needing their stamp of approval.” That view was echoed by New York Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand who said, “I think the right thing to do would be for members of the House to briefly return to Washington so that we can send the legislation to President Obama immediately.” The House started their six-week summer recess last Friday. The Senate’s break does not begin until this Friday. Both houses of Congress are set to return to work on Capitol Hill in mid-September. However, governors such as Pennsylvania’s Ed Rendell have warned that their states would be forced to make “massive layoffs” in the first weeks of September if states do not get the fiscal aid soon. The $26 billion Senate bill this morning overcame a GOP filibuster by a vote of 61-38, backed by moderate Maine Republicans Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins. The measure includes $10 billion in funding to save teachers’ jobs and $16 billion to help states meet their Medicaid payments. Democrats have said the funds will help avert the layoffs of around 140,000 teachers and thousands more first responders. The last time the House interrupted its summer break to come back into session was in 2005 for the Terri Schiavo case. In 2008 the House came back to work in December for a vote on bailing out the struggling US automakers. -Matthew Jaffe

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