A last ditch effort by Senate Democrats to provide $26 billion in aid to the states cleared a major procedural hurdle in the Senate today. If passed, the bill would provide $10 billion to help prevent teacher layoffs and another $16 billion to help states pay for the Medicaid health-care system for the poor.
Today on “Varney & Co.” NPR Senior Correspondent Juan Williams said opposition to the bill was split across two different points of view. “It’s all about whether or not you believe the states should be helped, especially with Medicare spending which is a huge drain on state treasuries,” Williams said. “Or do you believe that you know what, its up to the states. In some instances states have been aggressive in their spending, reluctant to cut where necessary and it just adds to the deficit.”
However, host Stuart Varney said that the vote on this bill comes at a bad time when a slew of different fraud and abuse cases related to government spending are popping up in the news. Williams responded, saying corruption in government programs is nothing new. “I don’t see that as a real problem,” Williams said. “You want to cut some of that waste and fraud but I don’t think you’re ever going to eliminate it totally.”
The bill, which Democrats say is completely paid for, would reduce the deficit by about one billion dollars.