Thursday, October 18, 2007

SCHIP Veto Override

Once again Rep. John Shimkus (IL-19) fails to do the right thing. Once again he voted against the best interests of children of his district.

The bill had bipartisan support but the 273-156 roll call was 13 votes short of the two-thirds majority supporters needed to enact the bill into law despite Bush's objections. The bill had passed the Senate with a bigger than two-thirds majority.

[. . .]

The State Children's Health Insurance Program now subsidizes health care insurance coverage for about 6 million children at a cost of about $5 billion a year. The vetoed bill would have added 4 million more children, most of them from low-income families, to the program at an added cost of $7 billion annually.

HR 976 was good legislation:

Rep. Nathan Deal (R-Ga.) suggested adding an eligibility cap on families with at least $1 million of family assets, a move that would have virtually no impact on the bill's cost. Four moderate Republicans sent Pelosi a letter outlining what they thought could win passage, including a cap at 300 percent of the poverty level, a phasing out of eligibility for some adults and an expressed prohibition on illegal immigrants.

[. . .]

And that is likely all the GOP will get. Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.), chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, pointed out that House Democrats had given up plenty already, scaling back their far more ambitious bill to meet the demands of Senate Republicans, such as Orrin Hatch (Utah) and Charles E. Grassley (Iowa), who virtually dictated the final bill's parameters.

[. . .]

Republicans will not relish the next round of the fight. Swing-district GOP lawmakers have already weathered a barrage of advertisements from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and Democratic allies, accusing them of forsaking the nation's children while standing by the president's war in Iraq.

He has provided the usual Republican rhetoric for his failure. Voters should remember this when they see the John Shimkus name on the November 2008 ballot.

Voters should remember that there will be a better choice on the November 2008 ballot:
Joe McMenamin.

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