Via The Hill, Sen. Ben Nelson (Neb.), the most centrist Democrat in the Senate, has introduced legislation requiring that any unused funds from the $26.1 billion state-aid bill go to paying down the deficit. His office released this statement:
“For states that can meet their state’s education needs without the additional federal funding provided by the new education jobs law, my bill will direct the unused funds to reducing the federal deficit,” said Senator Nelson. “The new law will keep thousands of teachers on the job across our country and I’m pleased that it is fully paid for by cutting other federal spending and closing foreign tax loopholes for businesses.
“If a state or states, however, don’t need the additional money, we should make sure the unused funds aren’t shipped off to other states. Instead, the unused funds should pay down the federal deficit.”
Even if a state’s senators did not vote for the measure, the state will receive some of the funds — $10 billion to keep teachers working, and $16.1 billion for Medicaid. States had initially requested much more than that to help them close their fiscal gaps and to avoid layoffs.