President Bush did what he vowed to do today when he went behind closed doors and put his veto pen to the State Children’s Health Insurance Program and the Democrats were quick to react.
Democrats unleashed a stream of harsh rhetoric Wednesday after President Bush vetoed a bipartisan bill expanding a popular children’s health insurance program, gearing up for a battle to both improve their chances of winning a veto override and score political points against Republicans who oppose the expansion.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid decried Mr. Bush’s action as a “heartless veto.”
“Never has it been clearer how detached President Bush is from the priorities of the American people,” Reid, D-Nev., said in a statement. “By vetoing a bipartisan bill to renew the successful Children’s Health Insurance Program, President Bush is denying health care to millions of low-income kids in America.”
Of course Bush says he wants a compromise on this legislation and immediately offered to meet with Congressional leaders to work on some sort of middle ground between the $5 billion increase Bush wants and the $35 billion Democrats want.
At first I figured that the 2 sides would get together and start working right away or at a minimum I expected the Senate to quickly schedule a vote to override the veto as they have the numbers and then work on getting the votes in the House. But when I saw that they were going to wait until sometime in November at the earliest the light bulb in my head went off. The Bush veto along with fairly strong bi-partisan support is actually a blessing in disguise for the Democrats. All throughout the process it was touted as being for the children but now all of a sudden it has become a silver bullet for use in the 2008 elections.
Democrats now have as many as 8 vulnerable Republicans on record voting against children’s health with scores of campaign ads surely to follow, it’s already starting here with ads touting the benefits of SCHIP being run by Stephanie Herseth Sandlin that ask us to call and thank her for caring about our kids seemingly every time you turn on the TV. I can imagine that Republicans that voted against this bill will be seeing sick underprivileged kids being paraded around the TV sets in their districts to gather votes for their opponents very shortly as well.
SCHIP is a very important program for the health of our children and even President Bush believes it should be expanded at least somewhat. Democrats wanted us to believe that their $35 billion increase was for the best interest of our kids though it now seems that the $35 billion was more of a number that worked to their political advantage. The Dems had no problem giving Bush another $190 Billion for his war in the Middle East even after promising they wouldn’t so how about finally doing something worthwhile for a change and make President Bush an offer he can’t refuse.
UPDATE: Will John McCain ever get his nose removed from George Bush’s backside? I do hear that doctors have a procedure for that now.
Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, told CNN Wednesday he agrees with President Bush’s veto of legislation expanding a children’s health insurance program, saying the bill provided a “phony smoke and mirrors way of paying for it.”