Reid plans showdown with GOP on funds for education, Medicaid

Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidVoters need to feel the benefit, not just hear the message Schumer-McConnell dial down the debt ceiling drama Mellman: Are independents really so independent? MORE (D-Nev.) will force Republicans to vote next week on a $26.1 billion package of education funding and Medicaid assistance to states.

It will be a tough vote for centrist Republicans because the provisions are popular with Democratic and Republican governors and would not add to the deficit.


The entire cost of the bill is covered by offsets, such as a provision to end tax credits on corporate foreign-earned income. Closing the foreign income tax credits will raise $9 billion in revenue.

Democrats will also make $8.4 billion in spending recissions. Another $6.7 billion will come from cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

Republican governors such as Arnold Schwarzenegger of California and Jodi Rell of Connecticut have supported federal assistance to states to prevent thousands of teachers from losing their jobs because of budget shortages.

Schwarzenegger this month declared a fiscal emergency in California, ordering thousands of state employees to take furloughs to help close a nearly $20 billion budget shortfall.

Democrats had tried to include the funding for teachers’ jobs and state Medicaid assistance in small business legislation pending on the Senate floor.

Republicans balked at the linkage and blocked progress on the small business proposal.

The Senate adjourned for the week and will return on Monday to vote to proceed to the education and Medicaid assistance package.

A Senate Democratic aide said Reid may file a motion early next week to proceed to energy and oil disaster response legislation.