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For Immediate Release

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Pennsylvania Gov. Edward G. Rendell and AFSCME President McEntee Call on Congress to Extend State Aid in Advance of Critical Vote

As Congress Nears Vote on Jobs Bill, State Budget Shortfalls Put Nearly One Million Jobs at Risk

Washington, DC — 

Pennsylvania Governor Edward G. Rendell and AFSCME Pres. Gerald W. McEntee today urged Congress to enact the American Jobs and Closing Tax Loopholes Act coming to a vote this week. Speaking at a press conference in the U.S. Capitol, McEntee and Rendell praised the critical support programs and tax breaks included in the bill, including FMAP — the federal matching funds for state Medicaid programs that over 30 governors have already factored into their budgets for the next fiscal year.

“An extension for FMAP along the lines that President Obama has proposed is essential,” said Governor Rendell. “If that does not happen, there will be thousands of layoffs of state, county and municipal workers, and a commensurate reduction of vital services to people in need.”

“This bill provides desperately needed investment for cash-strapped states that are in danger of shutting down public services at a time when Americans need them more than ever,” McEntee said.

With states facing an estimated $180 billion in budget shortfalls, economists estimate that 900,000 more jobs in both the public and private sector could be lost if Congress doesn’t act. Earlier this year, 47 governors called for an extension of the Medicaid matching funds included in this bill to fill in budget gaps that have forced overwhelming job and service cuts in almost every state.

“Jobs are the number one concern in America,” McEntee said. “The American Jobs and Closing Tax Loopholes Act will support millions of jobs, prevent outsourcing and keep our economy moving in the right direction.

McEntee also praised a provision of the bill that will crack down on corporate CEOs who ship jobs overseas. “Let’s keep our economy moving in the right direction. Let’s pass this jobs bill – now,” he said.