By Jay Heflin - 08/10/10 03:23 PM EDT
House Financial Services Chairman Barney Frank (D-Mass.) on Tuesday disputed the rumor that lawmakers were upset by having to return to Washington during their August break to vote on a $26.1 billion state-aid bill.
"When we heard that the Senate had passed the bill, people were delighted," he said Tuesday. "It means you're gonna get funds for states. You're going to have firefighters, teachers, public works employees back."
The bill provides $10 billion to education funding and $16 billion to Medicaid. Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) contends the legislation will save or create 319,000 jobs, which includes teachers, police officers and firefighters.
Pelosi last week said Republican opposition to the bill equated to them wanting to put these workers on the unemployment line.
Rep. David Dreier (R-Calif.) took issue with the speaker's comment during debate on the bill. He repeatedly said members in his party support keeping these workers employed but took issue with Democratic leaders moving the initiative outside of regular budget order.
"If the Democratic majority had done their job in an appropriate and timely way, our teachers, nurses and cops would not be on the chopping block," he said, adding, "These are the kinds of priorities that should be addressed in the regular budget process."
The House is expected to vote on the bill this afternoon.