(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – An amendment by Sen. Patty Murray to double the amount of aid to help states deal with their biggest budget crises since World War II was defeated on a 47-52 vote earlier today. The Senate did, however, include $20 billion in aid to the states, half of which will be used to increase the federal share of Medicaid and half will go for general fiscal relief. Neither the President’s proposal, nor the House tax bill provides any state relief.

Sen. Murray released the following statement.

"Our states are facing historic budget shortfalls, which threaten education, health care and even local law enforcement. Struggling states like Washington – where we face a $2.7 billion shortfall and a 7 percent unemployment rate – do not have the option of deficit spending.

I am disappointed that my effort to provide desperately needed aid to our states was defeated by a slim majority. But I am proud that because of Democratic efforts, the Senate has still included $20 billion in assistance. Under the Senate plan, Washington state will receive $400 million to help protect education, health care, law enforcement and other critical priorities.

It is disheartening that some in Congress continue to push for more tax cuts for the elite, even when economists and experts have said that that approach will not help – and could even hurt – our economic recovery."