WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama signed an emergency aid package into law Tuesday that
includes $282.5 million in federal funding for Alabama that could save about 2,700 education jobs.
Although the jobs bill gives Alabama an unanticipated $149 million boost to rehire support staff for public schools, it does not provide the Medicaid program with enough money to fully fund medical care for Alabama's needy.
Republicans opposed the bill saying it was wasteful.
U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers of Saks said he voted against the bill because "east Alabamians tell me they're sick and tired of the tax and spend policies they believe are hurting the private sector and only grow the
reach of the federal government."
He said he's concerned the bill continues the "failed" policy of last year's stimulus bill and does little to
create more private sector jobs.
"Congress should focus on helping the private sector save and create jobs instead of growing the d
ependency of states on the federal government," he said.
But it wasn't just Republican House members from Alabama who opposed it.
Rep. Bobby Bright, D-Montgomery, was one of three Democrats to vote against the bill, saying
it's not "sound public policy."
"While I am greatly concerned about the potential job losses and social service cutbacks at the state
level, I am also concerned with the precedent this legislation could set for future state budgetary
crises," said Bright, former mayor of Montgomery.
"It doesn't make much sense to me for the federal government to spend money it doesn't have to help
states avoid making tough budgetary decisions."