Pennsylvannia Governor Ed Rendell is urging Congress to pass a bill expanding federal medical benefits as quickly as possible.
Rendell’s budget counts on 850 million dollars from the anticipated FMAP expansion.
He says if Congress doesn’t pass the bill, he’ll have to cut that money out of the state’s spending plan...
"To lay off 20-thousand people – they would be teachers, state workers, firemen, policemen, case workers. To lay off people like that would just have an incredibly breaking effect on the somewhat significant resurgence in the economy. It makes no sense at all."
Rendell says Pennsylvania isn’t alone, and that a majority of states are also banking on the federal aid.
"And last year 47 governors sent a letter to the Congress saying the FMAP extension is essential. Ladies and gentlemen, it’s tough to get 47 governors to agree that today is – what is today, Tuesday? That today is Tuesday."
The Senate could vote on the bill this week. Pennsylvania's junior Senator Bob Casey supports the bill…
"This is a jobs issue, a fiscal issue, and an issue of whether or not we’re going to protect very vulnerable people."
Pennsylvania is already facing a 1.2 billion dollar revenue gap, and the next fiscal year begins in less than three weeks.
Several Senate Republicans are hesitant to endorse the bill, though, saying federal spending is already way too high.