A $26 billion aid package was passed by the Senate on Thursday that aims to ensure that school districts and states do not have to can tens of thousands of teachers and government workers. Just two Republicans crossed the ideological aisle to support the bill, which now heads to the House.

The package also includes $600 million to beef up border security. –JCL

The New York Times:

The Senate on Thursday approved $26 billion in aid to states and school districts to prevent the layoffs of tens of thousands of teachers and government workers while allocating $600 million to strengthen border security as senators headed toward an August recess.

Both measures require approval by the House, which is being rushed back into session next Tuesday from its own extended August break to consider the state and local aid that had been caught up in a partisan impasse.

Democrats hailed the passage of the $26 billion package, which was approved by a vote of 61 to 39, saying it could prevent disruptions in the start of the school year. Two Republicans, Susan Collins and Olympia J. Snowe of Maine, joined 57 Democrats and 2 independents in backing the measure; 39 Republicans opposed it.

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