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House returns from summer break to pass state-funding bill

By the CNN Wire Staff
  • The state assistance bill would help pay for teachers
  • The vote comes during middle of summer recess
  • If approved by the House, the bill would go to President Obama

Washington (CNN) -- The House of Representatives will be back in session this week to take up a $26 billion bill designed, in part, to help avoid teacher layoffs.

House members huddled on Monday, but they aren't expected to vote on the measure until Tuesday.

"As millions of children prepare to go back to school -- many in just a few days -- the House will act quickly to approve this legislation once the Senate votes," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a statement last week.

"I am calling members of the House back to Washington ... to pass this bill and send it to President Obama without further delay."

The House began its summer break at the end of July and was not expected to return until mid-September.

House Democratic leaders began discussing the unusual move after the Senate unexpectedly advanced the state assistance bill last week.

The House must approve the measure before it can go to President Barack Obama to be signed into law.

House Republican leaders characterized the House plan as the latest step in an agenda rejected by the public.

"The American people don't want more 'stimulus' spending -- particularly spending for labor unions attached to a job-killing tax increase," said Michael Steel, a spokesman for House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio.

"Democrats would be better off listening to their constituents, who are asking, 'Where are the jobs,' rather than returning to Washington, D.C. to vote for more tax hikes and special interest bailouts."

It's not the first time Congress has been called back from a recess. In December, 2008, members were called back when lawmakers debated providing aid for the auto industry.

Also in recent years, representatives were called back during the summer of 2005 for a vote on emergency supplemental funds in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

CNN's Brianna Keilar contributed to this report.