Obama Signs $26 Billion Jobs Bill

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President Barack Obama signed a $26 billion jobs bill Tuesday hours after the House passed the measure during a rare August session.

At least $10 billion of the legislation is designed to save the jobs of 300,000 teachers, police officers and other public workers. The money will be given to states to keep them from laying off workers and to help them potentially rehire workers they've already had to lay off.

The other $16 billion extends, for another six months, increased medicaid payments to states. That's going to ease the financial burden on Medicaid so that states can meet their other financial obligations.

Standing in the Rose Garden with teachers who stand to benefit from this legislation, the president called it the right thing to do. But Republican lawmakers said the last thing the federal government needs to be doing is spending more money it doesn't have.

"What part of broke does Congress not understand?" Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, said.

Republicans said the legislation makes states more dependent on the federal government and keeps them from making tough financial decisions.

"These dollars are not targeted based on jobs at risk or student needs. This is nothing more than across the board inflation of state spending," Rep. John Kline, R-Minn., said. "Spending another $10 billion we don't have will not balance budgets or bolster our economy,"

Speaker Nancy Pelosi called lawmakers back from their August vacation to consider this legislation. Democrats want to show voters they're focused on improving the economy.

'It's one thing for states to get their fiscal houses in order and tighten their belts because families are doing it, there's no reason states can't do it too, that's a welcomed thing. But we can't stand by and do nothing while pink slips are given to the men and women who educate our children or keep our communities safe," Obama said.

Republicans say that Democrats are bowing to teachers unions and just spending tax dollars willy nilly.

Still, many states have already budgeted for this extra wave of federal cash.

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Jennifer Wishon

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Jennifer Wishon is the White House correspondent for CBN News based in the network’s Washington, D.C. Bureau.  Before taking over the White House beat, Jennifer covered Capitol Hill and other national news, from the economy to the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Follow Jennifer on Twitter @JenniferWishon and "like" her at Facebook.com/JennWishon.