As House returns for state-aid vote next week, so will the Tea Party activists

Tea Party activists plan to protest
next week’s House vote on a $26 billion state aid package at district offices
around the country.

The activists are upset over $10 billion in the package for
a fund to stop teacher layoffs.

{mosads}Fiscal conservatives also are fired up over reports that the
American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) pushed
Pelosi to call the House back for the vote. The union warned Pelosi that states
would be forced to lay off thousands of teachers if Congress doesn’t approve
the money by the end of August.

Protests are planned in at least a dozen states, and Tea
Party activists are set to show up at congressional offices Saturday through
Monday, according to conservative activists familiar with their plans.

Demonstrations will occur at the offices of Democrats’
facing tough reelection races, including Reps. Betsy Markey (Colo.), Dina
Titus (Nev.), Martin Heinrich (N.M.), Earl Pomeroy (N.D.), John Spratt (S.C.)
and Rick Boucher (Va.), according to a planning paper circulating among
conservative groups.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Wednesday announced she
would call the House back to Washington to vote on the $26 billion package,
which also includes funding for Medicaid.

Pelosi made the decision after the Senate on Wednesday voted
to move forward on the aid package, later passing the bill Thursday.

“We’ve heard from [Tea Party] folks asking for information
in a dozen states that we are aware of from coast to coast,” said Bill Wilson,
president of Americans for Limited Government, which provides studies and
support material to Tea Party activists.

Wilson and his Tea Party brethren argue that states have
hired far too many teachers in the last decade and that they should be
downsizing the pool of teachers rather than asking for a federal bailout.

“Why is there a rush to move this bailout right now?” Wilson
asked. “The impact on the overall economy would be negligible. … This is seen as a
cynical effort to help a few larger, heavily unionized states avoid that
reckoning … at a time when this Democratic leadership needs to have its unions
allies pumped up before the election.”

Wilson and local Tea Party groups are urging members not to
show up for the special House session or asking them to vote against the state-aid package. A
vote could come as early as Tuesday.

Pelosi and other Democrats say the funding will prevent
layoffs, stem higher unemployment and contribute to a growing economy.

“Democrats will return next week to save or create hundreds
of thousands of jobs for our teachers, nurses, firefighters and police officers
— and close loopholes that allow corporations to ship American jobs overseas,”
Pelosi said in a statement issued Friday.

This is
critical as over the last three months, state and local governments have cut
more than 46,000 jobs in education.”

Tags Martin Heinrich

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