House Amendment would mean $180 million for teachers and law enforcement in Wisconsin
Before adjourning late Thursday, the House took up the “war supplemental” bill approved by the Senate in May, which would appropriate $58.8 billion for war spending and disaster relief. The House voted to add $21 billion for domestic priorities, including $10 billion to states to help reduce the number of teachers and law enforcement personnel who will be laid off as a result of the ongoing fiscal crisis.
The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities has completed a preliminary analysis of the $10 billion provision. They estimate that the Wisconsin share of the funding for teachers and law enforcement would be $180 million.
The House amendment would also add nearly $5 billion to cover a shortfall in the Pall grant program. The domestic spending provisions are fully offset. Although the amendment was approved, the House vote on final passage of the amended supplemental bill has been delayed until Congress reconvenes on July 12.
Once the amended bill clears the House, it has to go back to the Senate, where it will be difficult to round up 60 votes for the non-war funding. A standoff between the two houses is very possible, although there’s usually intense pressure to settle issues that affect current defense spending. Today’s edition of CQ Politics examines the potential implications of a delay from the Pentagon’s perspective.
The Senate deliberations on the House amendment are likely to feed into a broader debate about domestic spending versus spending for our nation’s overseas interventions – during a period of deep domestic cuts. For example, the Department of Labor estimates that as of July 3 there are about 1.7 million Americans, including 59,000 in Wisconsin, who have lost their unemployment benefits because the Senate was unable to end the filibuster of domestic spending bills that would extend those benefits.