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“The extra aid working its way through Congress cannot arrive soon enough,” said Nigel Gault, chief U.S. economist at IHS Global Insight. He said the dramatic slowdown in job creation and growth since the spring — including mounting layoffs at the local level — poses a threat of a double-dip recession.

“With state and local government shedding 48,000 jobs in July, this relief is crucial” to keep propping up the extremely weak job market, said Heidi Shierholz with the Economic Policy Institute, a labor-backed think tank.

Republicans and their allies continued to argue against the aid, saying state and local governments must come to terms with their lower revenues and make appropriate cuts.

Bill Wilson of Americans for Limited Government called it a “bailout of public employee unions” since most of the jobs saved will be among heavily unionized teachers and other public employees. Public employees unions are among the Democratic Party’s largest and most vociferous supporters.

“With teacher unions alone garnering around $40 million in dues money from their $10 billion chunk of the bill, it is easy to understand how the big public employee union handlers were able to get [Mrs. Pelosi] to put off her previously scheduled work period to come back to D.C.,” he said.

Mr. Wilson added that the way Congress paid for part of the state aid — by raising taxes on corporations that earn money abroad — will end up killing far more private jobs than the public jobs it preserves.