Avoiding the usual fanfare surrounding his previous three “vetoes” the Decider decided today to veto the SCHIP bill behind closed doors. In doing so he put fellow Republicans in the “line of ire” of voters who are overwhelmingly in favor of passage of the bill. In fact, several polls, conducted by nonpartisan entities, show that Americans want to cut funding for the war and increase spending on children’s health.
Providing the numbers in the Senate hold, there are sufficient votes to override the veto. Orrin Hatch (R ) Utah, a participant in drafting of the bill, states openly that he believes Bush has received poor advice, and encourages the House Republicans to vote for override. Senator Grassley of Iowa is equally forceful in his support of the bill. Amazingly, Kit Bond voted in favor of the bill and we hope he remains steadfast. The problem lies in the House and Speaker Pelosi has wisely tabled the vote on the veto for two weeks. She is going to go after the 25 votes needed in the House for veto override. Hooray Nancy!
Political ops are already underway. The DNCC launched radio ads yesterday targeting eight Republican house members who voted against the bill and who face tough reelection campaigns in ’08. One of these eight is none other than Missouri’s own, Sam Graves. Other naysayers in Missouri are Todd Akin, Roy Blunt and Kenny Hulsof.
An emergency rally has been announced for Thursday October 4 at 4:00 pm at the office of Kit Bond located at Hanley and Bonhomme in Clayton. Just to keep him pure by reminding him that it is his turn in 08.
As for The Decider, well he says he is open to compromise. Yes, we have heard that before. The Talking Point being offered seems to be the enforcement of the regulation from CMS that would require states to enroll at least 95% of children with family incomes below 200% of the poverty level before enrolling any other children. This regulation is particularly difficult to enforce, as it is nearly impossible for states to even identify all eligible recipients, much less pull them in for services. Carefully tied in will be the poverty level issue and the fact that some states have Federal waviers to fund children who come from families whose income is more than 200% of poverty level. Missouri has been funded at 300% in the past.
In the meantime, it is Kit Bond’s office Thursday, Oct 4 at 6:00 pm and for those of you who vote in his district and others, Sam Graves is the man to see. Akin, Blunt and Hulsof might also benefit from candid discussions with their constituents and all the rest of us on the issue of SCHIP.