Wednesday, September 26, 2007

SCHIP Passed By House -- Final Vote Short Of Veto Proof

Last night the house passed the final version of SCHIP 265 to 159 with 1 Congress member voting present. Although an overwhelming vote it is just short of the number needed to override the President's threatened veto. The Senate vote is scheduled for this Thursday and is expected to muster a veto proof majority. This means that unless things change and the President vetoes the current bill, on October 1, 2007, millions of poor and middle class kids will be without health coverage. While most Presidents would hesitate to veto a bill risking the lives of American children, we all know that George Bush has no problem sacrificing the lives of American children on the alter of his goofy Heritage Foundation driven ideology--especially children who don't belong to his social class.

The house has come up with a plan to save our children from President Bush and the Heritage Foundation. According to the AP they are going to temporarily extend SCHIP to give them time to pull together a veto proof majority. Donny Shaw at the OpenCongress Blog points out that "even a modest improvement in the rate of tobacco-state-republican support could have made all the difference with this bill." This suggests that securing the final few votes for SCHIP might require the House to abandon its efforts to fund the SCHIP reauthorization by raising the tobacco tax. It is a truly crazy world where Democrats are going to have to abandon fiscal discipline to obtain a few additional Republican votes to override the ideological veto of a wildly popular bill.