Fed funds for Pennsylvania clears key U.S. Senate vote

    Congressional action has saved Pennsylvania from some draconian budget cuts. A bill providing about 600 million dollars in federal assistance for the state has cleared a key Senate vote .

    Congressional action has saved Pennsylvania from some draconian budget cuts. A bill providing about 600 million dollars in federal assistance for the state has cleared a key Senate vote .

    61 Senators, including Democrats Bob Casey and Arlen Specter, voted to end debate on the federal medical assistance extension, which will send billions of dollars to Pennsylvania and other states.
    The measure still needs to pass another Senate vote and go to the House, but Governor Rendell says there’s “no question” 51 Senators will vote “yes” later this week.
    The governor doesn’t expect any hurdles in the lower chamber, either.

    “No. I think the Blue Dogs, who were the problem originally, were insisting it be paid for. Since it is paid for, I think we’ll get all of their votes.”

    Democratic leaders closed federal tax loopholes and cut spending in other areas, in order to make sure the federal aid didn’t add to the deficit.
    When the bill becomes law, it will fill about $600 million of Pennsylvania’s $850 million budget gap.
    Rendell will sit down with legislative leaders next week to determine how to cut the additional $250 million the state’s spending plan.

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