The Senate yesterday again voted on a revised bill that would overhaul the State Children's Health Insurance program adding another 4 million kids to the 6 million already covered. The bill passed 64-30 which was again short of the 2/3rds majority that would be needed to override the promised veto from President Bush. Let the rhetoric begin...
"We're convinced that the president has undermined an effort to protect children," Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said shortly before the vote.
Bush Press Secretary Dana Perino:
"Congress has known for weeks that the president would veto this bill," White House Press Secretary Dana Perino countered in a statement shortly after the vote. "Now Congress should get back to work on legislation that covers poor children and stop using valuable floor time to make partisan statements."
If ever there were a perfect example of why Congress' approval ratings are lower than the most unpopular president in history this would be it. You would think a 5 year extension costing $60 billion that was paid for by a $1 a pack increase in the cigarette tax that would provide heath care for kids would pass easily and be signed with fanfare by the President. But if you thought that you would be wrong.
Some more thoughts you might have had on this subject that would be wrong.
- $60 billion is a drop in the bucket considering we have no problem throwing $1 trillion at the "war on terror".
- Such an important program should have no problem passing.
- "Sin tax" revenue is good enough to build new sports stadiums so it should work just fine for health care for kids.
- Congress and the White House would never play politics with kids health.
- Democrats would feel the need to compromise with the President to get something passed.
- The tobacco lobby would never be able to influence the White House considering the health issues associated with their product.
- Congress and the White House care what the majority of our population thinks.
- John Thune listens to his constituents including the Republican Governor of the state he represents.
That's what we get for thinking...