WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Sam Farr (D-Carmel) on Tuesday voted to approve funds to save 16,500 teacher jobs in California and direct $1.9 billion to bolster the state's Medicaid safety net.
"Our local governments shouldn't have to pick and choose between vital public services," Rep. Farr said. "We must keep our teachers in the classroom, our police and firefighters on the street and fund the safety net programs that are more important than ever. I'm proud to have voted for our teachers, emergency responders and the many out-of-work Americans who desperately need our help."
The Education Jobs and Medicaid Assistance Act provides $10 billion in funding to save more than 160,000 teacher jobs nationwide ($1.2 billion to save an estimated 16,500 teacher jobs in California). The bill also provides $16.1 billion ($1.9 billion for California) in funds to help states fill shortfalls in Medicaid funding.
The bill is fully paid for and reduces the deficit by $1.4 billion over 10 years. Much of this is accomplished by closing a loophole that encourages corporations to send American jobs overseas.
In addition to funds devoted to saving jobs and helping out-of-work Americans, the House also passed legislation that would dedicate an additional $600 million to improve border security, including 1,500 additional border agents. The Senate is expected to pass that bill when it returns in September.
"We all agree that the first step in achieving comprehensive immigration reform is securing the border, and it's my belief that these funds are getting us there," Rep. Farr said. "We're increasing the number of border agents to 22,000, more than double the number in 2004. We've already funded unmanned aerial drones, 650 miles of fencing and millions of dollars in high-tech surveillance systems and communications equipment. It's time we take a step back and look at the bigger picture and pass comprehensive immigration reform."
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