New Mexico – President Barack Obama has signed a bill that he says will save hundreds of thousands of teachers and other public workers from unemployment.
Obama signed the measure into law just hours after the House passed it in a special one-day session during what would normally be the lawmakers' summer break.
The $26 billion bill would protect 300,000 teachers, police and others from election-year layoffs. Obama and Democrats said quick action was necessary before children return to classrooms minus teachers laid off because of budgetary crises in states that have been hard-hit by the recession.
Republicans called the bill a giveaway to teachers unions and an example of wasteful Washington spending.
Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.