Bush veto will set up fight over health care

first_imgThe coalition will devote $3 million to $5 million to the effort, he said. House Minority Whip Roy Blunt, R-Mo., said he was “absolutely confident” the House would sustain Bush’s veto. Blunt and other Republican congressional leaders met with Bush at the White House on Tuesday. Senate Minority Whip Trent Lott, R-Miss., said Congress should be able to reach a compromise with Bush once he vetoes the bill. “We can do this,” Lott said. “But we should not allow it to be expanded to higher and higher income levels, and to adults. This is about poor children.”160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! In Congress, Democrats didn’t wait for Bush’s veto to begin campaigning against Republicans who oppose the expansion. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee launched radio ads Monday attacking eight GOP House members who voted against the bill and face potentially tough re-election campaigns next year. Democratic lawmakers held a string of events highlighting the issue, including a parade of children bearing anti-veto signs and T-shirts in front of the White House on Monday. By midafternoon Tuesday, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., had hosted three events devoted entirely or largely to the SCHIP issue. He said Democrats would continue to implore 15 House Republicans to switch positions and overturn the veto, but he acknowledged that none had agreed to so far. Gerald McEntee, president of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees union, said a coalition of liberal groups planned more than 200 events throughout the nation to highlight the SCHIP issue. The group, which includes MoveOn.org, and several unions, will flood Congress “with hundreds of thousands of calls, letters and e-mails, all demanding that members of Congress vote to override Bush’s SCHIP veto,” McEntee told reporters Tuesday. WASHINGTON – With no ceremony for television cameras, President George W. Bush will veto a bill today expanding a popular health care program for children by $35 billion. The move will set up a veto fight that Bush probably will win but which will give Democrats a campaign issue for next year’s elections. They will argue that the veto shows that Bush and his Republican allies are insensitive to low-income children who are uninsured through no fault of their own. The Senate passed the bill with enough votes to override the veto, with 18 Republicans lining up with Democrats. But the House fell about two dozen votes shy of the number needed to override. Bush argues that the expansion of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, or SCHIP, is a step toward socialized medicine and would entice people with private coverage to switch to government-financed plans. last_img read more