On August 4, 2010 the U.S. Senate took action that cleared the last major hurdle in the passage of a bill to provide $26 billion in federal aid to states to save teachers’ jobs and bolster floundering state economies. A $10 billion appropriation in the emergency spending plan included in H.R. 1586 is intended to prevent the loss of an estimated 140,000 jobs in local school districts across the country. A $16 billion appropriation in the bill is intended to help states cover their Medicaid budgets in the first six months of next year.
By a vote of 61 to 38 the Senate approved an amendment to H.R. 1586 which allowed the Senate to subsequently, on August 5th, vote to pass the bill and send it back to the House of Representatives for approval. The House began its month-long summer break on July 30th. This would have resulted in weeks of delay in further action on the bill, however; within hours after the Senate action on August 4th, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi announced on Twitter that she is calling all Representatives back to Washington D.C. early next week to continue work on the bill. The House is expected to approve the bill and, if so, the bill could be sent to President Obama for signature very soon.