HONOLULU (AP) - US Representatives Mazie Hirono and Charles Djou have taken opposite stances on a bill that would provide Hawaii with $86 million for its Medicaid system and $39 million to pay teacher salaries. The $26 billion bill was approved Tuesday by the House on a 247-161 vote. The measure is expected to be signed by President Barack Obama.
The legislation would extend Medicaid and education spending that began with last year's economic stimulus law for an additional six months, though the education dollars come with additional restrictions. Djou, a Republican, voted no, saying the nation cannot afford the additional spending. Hirono, a Democrat, supported the bill, saying Medicaid providers and the state school district need the money.