This morning President Bush vetoed bill to continue and expand the State Children’s Health Insurance Program. With the fourth veto of his presidency, Bush has knocked down a measure that would have allowed enrollment in the insurance program for low-income children to increase from 6.6 million to 10 million. The bill passed in the Senate 67-29, enough to override the veto. However, in House passed it 265-159, 19 votes short of the two-thirds majority needed to override the veto.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said today that “President Bush used his cruel veto pen to say ‘I forbid 10 million children from getting the health benefits they deserve’… We will continue to work with a bipartisan majority in Congress and 43 governors from across the country to increase support for SCHIP in the House so we can override the veto and provide 10 million children the health coverage they deserve.”
“Today we learned that the same president who is willing to throw away a half trillion dollars in Iraq is unwilling to spend a small fraction of that amount to bring health care to American children,” commented Senator Edward Kennedy, chair of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.