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Heavy-Handed Politics

"€œGod willing, with the force of God behind it, we shall soon experience a world
without the United States and Zionism."€ -- Iran President Ahmadi-Nejad

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

SCHIP: September Showdown

Congress and the White House are poised for a showdown over reauthorization of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program before the program expires on September 30, with both houses having passed legislation that the president has vowed to veto.

While President Bush and majorities in both houses of Congress support reauthorization of SCHIP, each offers a very different approach. The president wants Congress to focus on the original intent of the program – to provide coverage for children whose families make too much for them to qualify for Medicaid but too little to afford private coverage.

The House passed its SCHIP bill by a nearly party-line vote of 225-204 on August 1 that includes greatly-expanded eligibility for SCHIP and other major provisions not directly related to the program. Eighteen Senate Republicans joined 48 Democrats and two Independents in approving a somewhat more modest SCHIP bill by a veto-proof 68-31 vote on August 3. Members will try to reconcile the significant differences between the House and Senate versions when they return from their August recess, but Senate Republican Whip Trent Lott has said if the final conference report “gives one iota beyond” the provisions in the Senate bill, Republicans will withdraw their support.

That means that in order to override a presidential veto, House conferees would have to give up ...


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