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( – promoted by Clark)

…whether or not he will veto the SCHIP bill.  He is almost certain to veto as he has promised multiple times to do.  What I can’t figure out is just how he squares that with his family values persona.  His argument is that too many children will drop private insurance for SCHIP because they qualify. Seems to think it could even lead to a government takeover of health care. The SEIU has this to say about the Bush and this issue:

“President Bush has a choice to make,” said Dennis Rivera, chair of SEIU Healthcare. “Either he believes children should have healthcare or he doesn’t. Either he believes we are a compassionate, caring society or he doesn’t. Either he respects the members of our Congress and their leadership, or he doesn’t. If he vetoes this bill, he is telling millions of kids that he simply does not care about them.”

Anyway, the compromise bill for SCHIP passed the House by a non-veto proof margin, and yesterday passed the Senate 67-29 in favor of increasing spending on the program to $60 billion over the next five years.  This would be double of what the Decider is willing to allocate.  But it would allow four million children of the nine million currently uninsured to receive health coverage.  The additional spending would be covered by a 61 cent increased on a pack of cigarettes.

The vote in the Senate seems to point to a Senate override of a Decider Veto. Both Missouri Senators voted for the measure and we hope Bond will also join in a vote to override.  The House does not have the votes for override at this time.  Missouri representatives voting for the measure are Lacy Clay, Russ Carnahan, Ike Skelton, Emanual Cleaver and Joann Emerson.  Voting against were Sam Graves, Todd Akin, Roy Blunt, and Kenny Hulsof. It is up to us to flood Nancy Pelosi’s office with calls to campaign the House for override votes with all due energy

The veto is anticipated and Congress will continue funding SCHIP at its current level until mid-November as part of another bill keeping federal agencies in operating funds beyond September 30.