White House says aid to teachers will face first Senate vote
October 17th, 2011
11:16 AM ET

White House says aid to teachers will face first Senate vote

The White House expects Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to announce the first Senate vote on a component of President Obama’s jobs bill that calls for providing aid to teachers and first responders.

“Our expectation [is] that the first measure will be teachers,” White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters aboard Air Force One Monday. “I do not want to get ahead of Senator Reid. It is up to Senator Reid. We have been in consolation with him. It is his prerogative and we are very pleased that he will be taking it up.”

Carney added he expects Reid to make his own announcement “very soon” with a vote following shortly thereafter.  Reid's office has since announced the Nevada Democrat will announce his plans during a conference call at 2:30 p.m.

The comments come two days after President Obama specifically pushed that component in his weekly radio address, saying, “If they vote ‘no’ on that, they’ll have to tell you why. They’ll have to tell you why teachers in your community don’t deserve a paycheck again. They’ll have to tell your kids why they don’t deserve to have their teacher back. They’ll have to tell you why they’re against commonsense proposals that would help families and strengthen our communities right now.”

Obama’s jobs plan calls for $35 billion allotted to states and localities to hire more teachers and first responders while preventing current ones from being laid off.

Other components of the jobs bill to be voted on include funding for infrastructure projects and extending cuts in payroll taxes. Carney said the White House did not value certain components over others.

"I wouldn't know which is better than the other. I think they're all effective,” he said. “The whole package is put together with urgent, early action in mind.”

- CNN's Ted Barrett contributed to this report

Topics: President Obama • The News

soundoff (53 Responses)
  1. My favorite part of this whole bill...

    Will probably be rejected. Seriously the party of No doesn't care for teachers and first responders. They would rather see the entire bill go to Hades (hell for you Christians out their), so they can bank on a bad economy in the next election. Well when my kids don't have an education and I get shot and die along with 100+ other people I'll definitely blame the party of No.

    October 17, 2011 at 11:30 am |
    • Jim

      If states cannot afford the payroll and the last stimulus failed to keep teachers employed then what makes you think this stimulus is going to work? Are we going to throw billions every year at teachers?

      The only reason teachers are first to be voted on is because they are the biggest union in the country. If this was a true jobs bill it would focus on non-union jobs too, fact is only 10% of this country is union yet 100% of this bill goes towards union jobs. It is all about buying votes, not creating jobs.

      October 17, 2011 at 2:20 pm |
      • Rich

        Right you are! Just shows that to a Democrat, the ends justifies the means. If it gets them what they want, there is nothing they won't do. Sad.

        October 17, 2011 at 2:57 pm |
      • mannycl

        I agree with you 100%

        October 17, 2011 at 3:20 pm |
      • jess

        All of you who are questioning the vote to help get teachers the raise and help they deserve clearly don't realize that you wouldn't be making all the money you are making now (probably more than most teachers) due to the fact that you received an education by teachers who were competent enough to see you succeed. Before you question the vote, stop, think, and realize without teachers most of us would be nothing.

        October 17, 2011 at 5:53 pm |
    • Howard


      October 17, 2011 at 2:37 pm |
      • The truth of the matter is...

        Most teachers are good teachers. Most teachers would rather work with students and make sure they are prepared for the real world than be paid a good wage. Most teachers don't get paid well in many states, and I'm getting tired of hearing that teachers are selfish and greedy because it just isn't true, if someone wants to get paid well then they wouldn't become a teacher. The fact of the matter is that teachers love what they do, and usually consider the betterment of the community over higher wages.

        October 17, 2011 at 4:21 pm |
  2. Obamajihad Inc.

    More graft paid out to the far left, radicalized teachers' union...inexchange for the hunion block vote, redistribution of We The People's wealth to pay off liberal propaganda peddling, child indoctrinating, revisionist history brainwashing Democrat cronies in exchange for their votes and favors....followed by the Police Unions similarly...just like the fe'ral government GM takeover to pay of the Auto Worker's Union, stealing the shares of millions of American's saving/investment accounts. Where ARE the jobs for small businesses & the private sector which would come helping the economy grow? There are none. NADA. All his champaigne socialist elite self can think of is raise taxes on We The People, and redistribute OUR tax dollar$ straight to his own Democrat voting groups and his own favored demographic groups (like ACORN and the like). He forgets he was elected to serve ALL of the people, not just SOME of the people...corrupt is as corrupt does : / .....bribes/payoffs/graft...Washington/Wall Street business as usual via the Obama, Buffet, Soros, Immelt crowd of NWO Corporate Socialists : ( ...

    October 17, 2011 at 11:53 am |
  3. Victoria

    I can't wait to see what happens. If the gop votes no (again) then they are against educating our kids today, to help the america of tomorrow. It will show that they clearly don't understand the bricks of our american foundation or what the majority of americans want. For the sake of the country GOP do not vote no on this.

    October 17, 2011 at 11:56 am |
    • Brian

      You assume that federal spending on education has done something. Look at the facts, we spend more than any other nation yet our education is lacking. It's not money, it's the bureaucracy that gets in the way. Stop with bs about the Republicans being against our kids...what a crock of party warfare.

      October 17, 2011 at 12:20 pm |
      • jean2009

        Read: The Economic Policy Institute Briefing Paper -Shortchanging Education – How the US Spending on Grades K-12 Lags Behind other Industrial Nations. by M Edith Rasell and Lawrence Mishel
        The US ties for 12th place among 16 industrialized nations spending less than but just 3. When the difference in enrollment rates is considered we fall into fourteenth place, spending less that 2 other countries.

        We may on record equal some countries on the amount spent on higher education, but where we are falling behind is in the funding for grades K-12.
        Ranked by amount spent by a country's GDP rankings
        The US fell behind the following countries:
        Denmark, Cyprus, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Finland, New Zealand, Belgium, Malta, France, Netherlands, Ireland, and Israel.
        That is from the UNESCO International Standard Classification of Education, report for 2010.

        In a 2007 report. The $11Billion we spend on the Iraq war for that year could have paid the salaries of 200,000 teachers. We spend more on our military than the next 15 industrial countries combined.
        This from the report titled "12 Facts About Military Spending That Will Make Your Head Explode."

        October 17, 2011 at 6:19 pm |
    • superlogi

      Your kids aren't being educated now because of the government AFT, NEA circle jerk that keeps the inept and lazy teachers in the system. What's so ridiculous is people like you not realizing it.

      October 17, 2011 at 1:14 pm |
    • Henry Miller

      The federal government has no Constitutional power concerning education. Unlike you, the GOP clearly does understand the bricks of our American foundation, the Constitution.

      October 17, 2011 at 2:22 pm |
      • jean2009

        I would suggest reading: The Right to Education Fact Sheet at http // discoverhumanrights .org .

        Other countries including South Africa and Ireland do have federal rights to education...which shows why we are continually falling behind other countries. Which to me only proves the fact the GOP = Greedy Ole Pigs do not have the best interest of Americans or American children at heart. They are just a bunch of swine at the trough.

        October 17, 2011 at 7:52 pm |
      • Jay in NC

        Honestly Jean, would you choose to live in South Africa or Ireland?

        October 17, 2011 at 8:16 pm |
      • jean2009

        @Jay according to UNESCO 135 countries guarantee their child the right to a free, compulsory and non-discriminatory education.
        Can you imagine living in a country where that right is not guaranteed? The United States is one of 50 countries that does not guarantee that right.

        Amendment XXVIII – The Right to Equal Education for All.
        Equality exists when all children have well qualified teachers and well equipped schools that are not dependent on the tax base of the local system for providing those things....our current property tax system breeds disadvantaged school districts, and inequality in education for our students.

        October 18, 2011 at 1:32 pm |
      • Jay in NC

        Jean, name one state, city or county were kids do not have access to free, compulsory and non-discriminatory education.

        October 18, 2011 at 2:54 pm |
  4. Brian

    What this bill should be called it the repayment of the teachers union for supporting Obama. Any community that needs this money to fund the salary of teachers simply means that those cities have failed to budget the necessary money for those positions and once this "stimulus" money runs out, so does the funding for any position that was "saved".

    October 17, 2011 at 12:00 pm |
  5. Debbie

    There will be zero surprise here. The GOP will vote in a block against educating our children today and vote for creative accounting Wall Street. After being a Republican for 35 years (now an Independent) I've learned since 2001 that the GOP loathes America and American's.

    October 17, 2011 at 12:14 pm |
    • Brian

      Really?? Yes, that's what they're doing, conspiring against our kids to make some wall street guys rich...what a bunch of liberal scare spew. Oh, and I'm sure you were a Rebuplican, nice try.

      October 17, 2011 at 12:29 pm |
  6. Vince

    I'm sure it will fail. Everyone knows all our teachers are millionaires living in the lap of luxury and probably caused the economic melt down. Give me a break!

    October 17, 2011 at 12:18 pm |
  7. 1crusader

    I hope that Congress will care enough about the people, and particularly kids in this country to support this bill.My daughter and best friend are both teachers that are extremely conscientious and hard working.Teachers have been maligned of late, but my daughter puts in long hours after school, and brings work home every night and on weekends.She is underpaid, and spends a lot of her own money for her students.I'm sure there are some bad teachers, but most of them that I know are very misunderstood and unappreciated.Al

    Also, we need to care about our first responders , who too have difficult jobs.When we call, we want them to be there.I hope we don't repeat the whole spectacle over compensating the 911 responders who risked their lives for the people of this country.

    October 17, 2011 at 12:21 pm |
    • Dan5404

      Asking the GOP to really care about people is useless. That's why the Democrats are forcing votes on the individual parts of Obama's jobs bill, Americans wanted it passed, and now they will see the GOP vote against teachers, firefighters , construction workers and specific categories of the unemployed in each part of the bill. That will come home to roost for the obstructionists in 2012.

      October 17, 2011 at 2:38 pm |
  8. swolfson929

    Call them all out President Obama....let everyone see what the GOP is really about!!!!
    Obama 2012

    October 17, 2011 at 12:44 pm |
  9. John Conservative

    Leave the education of our children to the STATES. We don't need the strings that are always attached to educational funding coming out of Washington.

    October 17, 2011 at 12:46 pm |
  10. marciegu

    Its useless. The GOP don't care about teachers, police, firefighters or average working Americans. They only care about protecting millionaires, corporations and those who are consrantly planing ways to screw consumers but are called "job creators."

    October 17, 2011 at 12:55 pm |
    • Jay in NC

      You have a simple view of the world.

      October 17, 2011 at 1:03 pm |
  11. chuck

    Why is there never anything on the first funding that saved teachers and state jobs. oh thats write just a waist of money.

    October 17, 2011 at 12:57 pm |
    • Tyler

      You mean right and waste, clearly you were not smart enough to pass a remedial spelling class. And I know you'll criticize me for being a liberal yuppy who just corrects your spelling and provides no facts to back up my support of teachers. 39 out of 50 states have underfunded education departments. You can only cut so much from a budget, yes I do think there is wasteful spending, until you start cutting things that are necessary for the US education system to operate.

      October 17, 2011 at 2:35 pm |
  12. Thomas

    I live in a very conservative aria in California. I'm amazed at how die hard conservatives are turning against the Mitch McConnell, Eric Cantor, John Boehner obstructionist GOP !

    People are realizing they were lied to in regards to the war in Iraq , now the economic cost has hit them at home , and there angry.


    October 17, 2011 at 12:59 pm |
    • superlogi

      What conservative area is that?

      October 17, 2011 at 1:16 pm |
    • Tom in San Diego

      Aparently you didn't do well in school. Learn how to spell. Your education about such things is showing, you don't seem to have your facts correct anymore than you can spell....

      October 17, 2011 at 2:17 pm |
  13. Charles

    Why do teachers have unions? Are they in support of the kids? Or for themselves? If they want to be paid like those in the corporate world, then why not have merit based pay and work 46 to 50 weeks a year. That is what most every one else does with a college degree.

    October 17, 2011 at 1:21 pm |
  14. Gavin

    The reason the jobs bill didn't pass Congress is that it cost $450 Billion dollars that we don't have. Democrats and Republicans voted against the bill because they know there is no money to pay for it and it just adds to the deficit. Now in desperation Democrats are throwing teachers and first responders under the bus blaming the other party for obstructionism. Don't know about you folks, but I am fed up with both parties playing these kind of games. This isn't the kind of hope and change we can believe in!

    October 17, 2011 at 1:23 pm |
  15. Thoms T

    The Question I have is why do we need to bail out for Teachers? If we look at the taxes that we are paying now where dose all the money go? Education is one of the biggest expenses for all states and should pay for itself. The more people in an area the more taxes are taken in. And what job gets free top of the line insurance? Oh right government jobs. It’s just Obama’s paying off the unions AGAIN!

    October 17, 2011 at 1:31 pm |
    • KatR

      Obviously you know nothing about how schools expend money. For 20 years I worked in a GOP run, right to work state (no unions) for a large, rapidly growing school district. I wasn't in the classroom but one of hundreds of support personell that provide transportation, finance and budgets, food for children, etc.

      Free 'top of the line insurance? Not true. We had the same insurance that many private companies offer.

      A public school district gets funding from property taxes and a state allocation formula that in my particular state was out of touch with what parents wanted for their children. Every school year HR struggled with not only trying to find teachers to meet burgeoning enrollment but determining what types of teachers were needed to meet the educational needs of the children. Most often, they overloaded teachers with huge classes and laid off the special teachers that help students in the library or help students with physical and mental challenges. Just recently, the state decided to no longer fund education for special needs students. The only funding support those students can get now comes from the federal govt. Remember...this is all happening in a state where teachers have no union.

      Hope I enlightened you and others to 'where the money goes' in a public school district. And why, in a country in which our system of govt depends on an educated voter electorate, our federal govt must support states that are either unable or unwilling to expend the necessary monies to educate children.

      October 17, 2011 at 2:38 pm |
  16. Thomas

    Right down the street from Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., chair of the House Investigations Committee pushing for more information from the Obama administration about the $535 million loan guarantee to benefit Solyndra, was asked about a company in his district applying for a loan for which he advocated.

    Rep. Darrell Issa caught with pants down yet again on Solyndra scandalmongering

    October 17, 2011 at 2:04 pm |
  17. Tom in San Diego

    My question would be: Mr. President, my daughters High School costs $150 million dollars to build. Why do you need to raise taxes to help teachers and first responders?

    October 17, 2011 at 2:14 pm |
  18. Henry Miller

    "White House says aid to teachers will face first Senate vote."

    In other words, Obama is still trying to pay off teachers' unions with taxpayer money.

    October 17, 2011 at 2:18 pm |
  19. JMR49

    Would one of you GOP/TP government funding experts please explain how sending money to states to rehire teachers they laid off because of budget games is a payoff to the teachers unions?

    While you're at it – he also mentioned first responders – they are Union people as well. Paying off firefighters Unions?

    You're ok with tax breaks for Banks and Hedge fund managers (Corporate payoffs) but you don't like public schools and teachers?

    October 17, 2011 at 3:49 pm |
  20. al in memphis

    @ Gavin - Last time I heard, we don't have money to pay anybody including defense contractors, big oil companies subsidies, or the on-going war. So why don't we just pull out of everything, let everybody fend for themselves until we can get some more money (After we pay our monthly interest bill to China).
    If we have decided we are not going to plan any wars for the next 5-10 years, that might save enough to pay the debt off completely.
    I'm in favor of a share, fair and balance approach. You need demand for goods and service in order for this economy to grow. Considering where the USA is ranked in ability to educate it children, we need to spend more money than this for education. Last I heard, we got bridges falling in the river with people on it, there might be a need to spend money on infrastructure which puts people to work and creates demand.
    Tax breaks have they place, but more often than not end up in the quarterly profit bag rather than creating demand.

    Why don't you check out the taxpayer bill when these companies move to town under all the promises that lure them there. They get infrastructure, tax breaks for 15-20 years, and an almost free ride - only problem is the taxpayer have to go out an borrow the billions of dollars to cover the cost to lure them there. At the end of the tax-free period, they're gone looking for the next sweethart deal.

    October 17, 2011 at 4:06 pm |
    • mae

      Amen, brother. It's happened here as well.

      October 18, 2011 at 11:45 am |
  21. Pat from Texas

    Call out the Democrats voting against the bill too.........

    October 17, 2011 at 4:08 pm |
  22. Phillip M

    Folks it is a political payoff, Dick Durbin has said it was for special interest groups only and that is why they shot it down, so Harry Reid almost had a stroke when mitch McConnell brought it to the floor. The dems do not want it as well
    So why buy and election with his job bill when the man has not done anything in the last 3 years at creating the inviroment to kill jobs. Sorry folks you are following a losing cause because people are tired of the blame game, Like Joe B said we are in charge and it is are course

    October 17, 2011 at 4:42 pm |
  23. spartacusguy

    These numbers just don't add up. http://circularfiringblog.blogspot.com/2011/10/its-not-class-warfare-its-math.html

    October 17, 2011 at 5:49 pm |
  24. iowaview

    aren't teachers, first responders, police and firefighters local employees? This is a local issue and should be addressed as such. If the local taxpayers are unwilling to support these positions it is not the responsibility of the federal government to fund them.

    October 17, 2011 at 7:57 pm |
  25. Cliff

    To put another bandage on failing state resources will do nothing but put additional burden on every taxpayer. Why should a taxpayer in West Virginia be ask so support a failed, liberal state, such as California. If Obama's plan had any validity, the first stimulus for Teachers would have been enough. Are we, as taxpayers, expected to support a series of never ending stimulus packages to support Teachers and the Teachers Unions.

    October 18, 2011 at 10:10 am |
  26. mae

    I am a recently retired teacher of 31 years. In only 2 of those years was I a member of NEA since the principal was after me and a few others because we implemented career ladder in our district, So, for 29 years I was an independent, as were most of the people in my district. People who want to categorize ALL teachers as pawns of their union are woefully misinformed and need to spend some time (not just a day) in public schools.

    October 18, 2011 at 11:44 am |
  27. cosmotwo

    Teachers need the federal government to get out of the way of teachers. Obama is such a fraud!

    October 18, 2011 at 6:18 pm |
  28. vdrummin

    Nothing like a Republican to get it all wrong; teachers have been getting the shaft since time began. They take all the blame for generations of kids who just don't want to learn. Their parents both work and have five minutes a day to spend with most kids; while teachers are suppose to be mothers and furthers to all. My Sister is a teacher she has a Masters degree and bailey makes a living. She has a union that does not care; a teachers association that does nothing;
    She works an at least ten hours a day, and has to buy most of the supplies to teach because her public school does not have enough money for children. Teachers are at the lowest pay level in the country; and by not paying them we are going to lose the opportunity for the future. Stop blaming teachers for your children.... and start paying them what they deserve, a teacher should be at the highest level of salary not the lowest – why don't we pay them like we pay republican CEO’s...

    October 20, 2011 at 10:50 am |
  29. Dee

    For all the naysayer who are against the teachers then home school your kids. Teachers are a valuable asset to our kids and society. We all have benefitted from having good teachers that helped shaped us for society and the workplace, so what is the "beef". Parents should want the same opportunity for their kids as we had or maybe more in this day and age.

    We are so busy bashing each other and the President that the younger generation just look at us and shake their heads.

    October 22, 2011 at 12:32 pm |

    i thank the young generation is smorter then some of you people are

    October 22, 2011 at 3:07 pm |
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