Washington, DC— Senators Ben Cardin, Bob Casey and Kay Hagan joined Randi Weingarten of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) and Kevin O’Connor of the International Association of Firefighters (IAFF) at a press conference this morning to call on Republicans to stop blocking critical state funding. According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, actions needed to close state budget deficits could cost the national economy 900,000 public- and private-sector jobs, including teachers, police officers and firefighters. In recent weeks, Republicans have blocked several efforts by Senate Democrats to pass this legislation, leaving our communities vulnerable and depriving our schools of much-needed resources to educate our children.
“If we do not extend these funds, the states like Maryland will hit a fiscal wall that will have an immediate impact on our most vulnerable citizens. It also will cost us jobs as local governments are forced to make painful cuts just at the very time we were beginning to feel the positive results of our recovery,” said Senator Cardin. “This is critically important for our nation as a whole and should not be a partisan issue.”
“Continued obstruction in the Senate could lead to 20,000 layoffs in Pennsylvania alone and poses a threat to public safety and schools,” said Senator Casey. “Despite majority support, states around the country are facing harmful real world consequences because a minority of senators are blocking funding.”
“Extending this Medicaid funding is the key to helping North Carolina and all of our states navigate these difficult economic times,” said Senator Hagan. “Our children’s education and the safety of our communities are at risk. This is an issue too important to fall victim to partisan bickering.”
“Children don’t decide to be born during good times or bad. But we, the adults, decide whether we are going to take care of our children and give them the care and education they deserve,” said Randi Weingarten of the AFT. “By funding FMAP, we can meet that obligation to our children, and continue the terrific progress we’re making in school districts across the county.”
"It’s time for Congress to stop talking and start acting. It’s time to put our communities and the safety of our citizens first,” said Kevin O’Connor of the IAFF. The price of Congressional inaction will force cities and towns to lay off thousands of fire fighters and jeopardize public safety. Stop the delays, pass the FMAP funding extension immediately."