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Senate Fails to Allow Debate on Teachers and First Responders Back to Work Act

Yesterday the Senate, voting 50 to 50, fell short of the vote needed to break the Republican filibuster of the Teachers and First Responders Back to Work Act. Following the Republican filibuster of the American Jobs Act last week, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) announced that he would introduce individual portions of the Act. Majority Leader Reid stated, “Protecting millionaires and defeating President Obama are more important to my Republican colleagues than creating jobs and getting our economy back on track,” according to the Huffington Post.

The $35 billion measure will allocate $30 billion to save 280,000 teachers’ jobs and create more teaching jobs. Women comprise 78 percent of elementary and secondary school teachers. The bill will also allocate $5 billion to save the jobs of first responders.

Following the vote, President Obama stated, “For the second time in two weeks, every single Republican in the United States Senate has chosen to obstruct a bill that would create jobs and get our economy going again. Every American deserves an explanation as to why Republicans refuse to step up to the plate and do what’s necessary to create jobs and grow the economy right now.”

The bill would be funded by a provision within it that places a 0.5 percent surtax on incomes over $1 million, including capital gains. Only individuals with incomes over $1 million will be affected and only income over the first million will be so taxed.

Huffington Post 10/20/11; Associated Press 10/20/11; Feminist Majority Foundation email 10/20/11