The House of Representatives left town at the end of last week to start their summer recess, not to return until September 13.
Or so we thought.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced today, via Twitter, that she will summon them back to town, now that the Senate has voted 61-38 to begin debate on legislation that would prevent the layoffs of about 100,000 teachers. The $26 billion package includes additional monies in Medicaid payments to the states.
Maine Republicans Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe broke from their fellow Republicans and voted to go forward with the debate; 60 votes were needed to break the deadlock.
And so, with the Senate on the cusp of voting for the measure, Pelosi thought the timing was right to bring House members back.
Politico's David Rogers writes about the wooing of Maine's two senators:
Collins, courted by the White House and influential in shaping the Medicaid funding, was pivotal to the Democratic win and agreed later that once the package was fully financed, it made it harder to object. After weeks of feuding with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), Snowe's support had been less certain, but the two women spoke Wednesday and ultimately voted in a one-two punch on the floor.
A big part of the victory was built on Reid himself and his willingness to embrace new spending cuts to hold his party together and take away the "debt and deficit" arguments from the Republican leadership.