To Pass State Aid Bill, Democrats Turn to Maine Republicans
Senate Democrats attempting to pass a much-needed $26.1 billion state aid bill — a fully paid-for provision including funds for teachers’ jobs and for Medicaid — are looking to Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) to cross the aisle and give the bill 60 votes to overcome a presumed Republican filibuster.
Via Politico, unions and advocacy groups are buying newspaper pages and advertising minutes in Maine to convince Collins and Sen. Olympia Snowe (R) to vote for cloture. The state aid bill would save or create 140,000 jobs, and without it numerous states would begin making immediate layoffs of public workers to close fiscal gaps. (All states save for Vermont are required to run balanced budgets every year.)
Yesterday, Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) seemed “optimistic” about the cloture vote, which will happen around 10:30 a.m. If the bill reaches cloture, it goes on to a majority-rules vote. It then needs to be voted on by the House and signed by the president.