With no thanks to Lee Terry, Nebraska can now receive some $138 million in federal Medicaid and education funding — saving more than 1,000 education jobs in the state.

The US House of Representatives was recalled to Washington to approve a Senate bill that will nationally save 140,000 teachers’ jobs and the jobs of tens of thousands of first responders.  The measure passed this afternoon with Terry voting “No.”

The legislation will provide $16.1 billion in increased federal contributions to the states’ share of Medicaid and in $10 billion in emergency allocations to school districts across the country.  At a time when Nebraska is facing an over $700 million state budget deficit, the resources and jobs saved is welcome news.

Considering that the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has estimated that this legislation will reduce the deficit by almost $1.4 billion over the next 10 years and is fully paid for, Lee Terry has no acceptable excuse for standing in the way.  To help offset costs, the bill closes corporate tax loopholes and rolls back funding for food stamps.

This legislation is not frivolous entitlement spending but a sound investment in our communities and our children’s future.  Representative Terry owes his constituents a very good explanation for putting middle-class families and workers at the bottom of his priorties while voting for corporate tax breaks.

In neighborhoods across Nebraska, schools, firehouses and police stations just let out a collective sigh of relief as Congress voted to put job-saving state assistance on the path to the President’s desk.  Representative Terry once again let down the very Nebraskans who keep our streets safe and who educate our kids.  Considering Terry has no problem extending the Bush tax credits that blew a huge hole in the deficit, he simply has no excuse to oppose this job-preserving legislation because the bill does not add a dime to the deficit.  We simply do not understand why Lee Terry (like Senator Johanns) would vote to fire thousands of Nebraskans.