Senate Moves EduJobs and FMAP Funding
This evening, Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) attached an amendment with funding to preserve teachers’ jobs and to provide much-needed Medicaid funding to states to a Federal Aviation Administration bill. The amendment is fully paid-for, and the FAA bill is just a vehicle. Reid filed cloture, meaning the Senate will vote on the provisions on Monday.
The amendment includes $10 billion in funding for teachers’ jobs and $16.1 billion in funding for the Federal Medical Assistance Percentages, or FMAP, program, which provides Medicaid funding to states. For offsets, it closes foreign tax credit loopholes to raise $9 billion; it also cuts $2 billion from Medicaid drug pricing, $8.4 billion in rescissions and $6.7 billion from the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program, or SNAP, formerly known as food stamps.
There were no further details released at the time. At first blush, cutting food stamps to pay for Medicaid — both problems aid the most economically distressed Americans — and teachers’ jobs seems like a hard compromise to swallow, though it is unclear when the cuts will take effect and what portions will be cut. Rep. Dave Obey (D-Wis.) recently said the White House suggested cutting SNAP to pay for teachers’ jobs.
States have crusaded for Congress to provide promised funds, held up primarily by Senate Republicans concerned about deficit-spending. $24 billion in Medicaid funding died with the jobs bill, or H.R. 4213, eventually stripped down to just its unemployment extension portion. And Senate Democratic leadership stripped teachers’ jobs funding from the war supplemental bill.