U.S. Rep. Mark Kirk has warmed to a $26.1 billion emergency state aid package, but not everyone in Illinois' Republican congressional delegation is so keen on the legislation. A spokesperson for U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock told The Southern yesterday that the freshman lawmaker will vote against the plan, calling it a "state bailout legislation." Since TARP passed, Republicans have described basically every Democratic initiative with which they don't agree as a "bailout." Providing schools with money to keep teachers on staff, when the major reason they are facing budget problems is because of an epic financial collapse totally beyond their control, clearly doesn't fit any normal definition of that word. The term is now essentially useless.
The good news is that Schock's vote shouldn't have much of an impact. Although House liberals could not reinsert useful food stamp funding into the package, the House is still expected to approve the legislation later today. Illinois will net nearly $1 billion as a result.