Remember we told you the Senate was slated to finally, finally vote on a $10 billion edujobs package tonight? Well, that didn’t end up happening.
Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., the Majority Leader, pulled the legislation, which also included $16 billion in Medicaid aid for states, after a cost estimate found that the bill was not completely offset (meaning paid for) by cuts to other programs. The $26 billion piece of legislation would still have added about $5 billion in the deficit, according to an estimate by the Congressional Budget Office, a non-partisan agency that analyzes legislation.
Moderate Democrats and some Republicans said they would not support the bill if the cost wasn’t covered. So the bill’s champions, including the White House, will need to find another tack.
What does this mean for cash-strapped school districts seeking funds to prevent what supporters of the legislation say would be more than 100,000 projected layoffs? They may have to wait even longer for the funds, if they materialize at all.
UPDATE: Reid has put together a new package for edujobs and hopes to hold a preliminary vote on it tomorrow. The new legislation includes the same offsets ($50 million from Striving Readers, $10.7 million from Ready to Teach, and $82 million from financial aid administration) that were already in the Senate bill.
UPDATE 2: The measure just cleared an important procedural hurdle. Senators voted to 61 to 38 to cut off debate, clearing the way for final passage.