Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) on Wednesday announced his intention to introduce a bill offering states enhanced federal Medicaid funding, called FMAP, along with unemployment and summer jobs assistance. The bill would be paid for with unspent and unobligated funds from last year's recovery act and other offsets.
Brown last week voted against the tax extenders bill that included those measures in part because it wasn't fully paid for. Five Democratic governors are on Capitol Hill today to lobby for the extra Medicaid help.
"There are some programs in that legislation that are important to Massachusetts during this economic crisis — the summer jobs program for young people, unemployment insurance extensions for those still looking for work in this tough economy, as well as additional assistance to the states, known as FMAP — but we need to find a way to pay for them," Brown said in a YouTube address. "My compromise bill uses unspent stimulus funds and cuts wasteful and unnecessary spending in other areas to pay for these important programs. Believe it or not, there is about $37 billion in stimulus money just sitting in a Washington slush fund when it should be put to good use immediately."