WASHINGTON, Aug. 4 (UPI) -- Senate Democrats overcame a Republican filibuster 61-38 Wednesday to move forward a $26.1 billion package of aid to U.S. states.
The funding will keep nearly 140,000 teachers on the job across the country and provide ongoing extra funding for healthcare to poor families during the recession, the Los Angeles Times reported.
With two Republicans voting for the legislation, the measure is headed toward a final vote this week, the Times said.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said Wednesday the House will return to Washington next week to act on the measure. Pelosi made the announcement via Twitter, The Hill reported.
"I will be calling the House back into session early next week to save teachers' jobs and help seniors & children," Pelosi said.
Governors from nearly every state had asked for the extra Medicaid funds that many legislatures had already voted for in their budgets, the Times said. Altogether, the states face a $12 billion deficit if the funding is not eventually approved.
Teachers also fought for the legislation to save jobs from fall layoffs, the newspaper said.
The bill was fully paid for by cuts in the federal budget and by closing tax loopholes and cutting spending on food stamps, but Republicans contended the federal government should not be rescuing the states, the Times said.
Congressional Republicans contend the bill is a payback to teachers' unions for supporting Democrats.
The bill advances as the Senate is racing the clock with a full agenda in the final days before the August recess and is headed toward a final vote this week.