House Fails to Override Children's Health VetoOctober 18, 2007 - by Donny Shaw
The House of Representatives today fell 13 votes short of the two-thirds majority they needed to override President Bush’s veto of Congress’s SCHIP reauthorization bill. The bill would have increased funding for the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) by $35 billion over five years, enough to expand coverage to nearly 4 million more uninsured children.
The override failed by a vote of 273-156. Both Democrats and Republicans shored up support for their party’s position. Only two Democrats voted against the bill, down from the eight who opposed it during the final vote before sending it to the President on October 3rd. Likewise, fewer Republicans defected this time around. Forty-five Republicans voted in favor of the bill on the 3rd, while only forty-four voted to override the veto and enact it today.
According to The New York Times, congressional Democrats plan to stick with this bill and keep trying to force a veto override or get Bush to sign it:
>“We will type it in bigger, bolder letters, but we will not compromise on the goal of insuring 10 million children,” said Representative Rahm Emanuel of Illinois, chairman of the House Democratic Caucus.
>If Mr. Bush vetoes a second version of the bill, Democrats say they will send him a third version just before Election Day 2008.
And from the same Times article, here’s Harry Reid’s (D-NV) take on what happens next:
>The Senate majority leader, Harry Reid, Democrat of Nevada, said he might be willing to “tweak something” in the bill to help the president “save face.”
>Mr. Reid was asked Tuesday whether he would be willing to negotiate with the White House if Congress upheld the president’s veto. “No, no, no,” he replied. “We have negotiated.”
>To win support from Republicans, Mr. Reid said, Democrats had “compromised and compromised and compromised.”
This is a highly contentious bill and accounts of what’s in it and what it would do vary dramatically according to who you ask. A great place to compare all the arguments for and against is the bill’s page on OpenCongress, where, since it was introduced in February, our aggregator has been collecting relevantnews and blog coverage from all over the internet.
UPDATE: Subscription-only CongressDaily sorted out the details for all the vote-switchers:
>None of the Republicans subjected to advertising and political barrages over their vote against the State Children’s Health Insurance Program bill last month supported this afternoon’s override vote. Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., was absent today after voting to pass the bill. Six Democrats — Reps. Dan Boren of Oklahoma, <a href=“http://www.opencongress.org/people/show/412195_kathy_castor>Kathy Castor of Florida, ”http://www.opencongress.org/people/show/400125_bob_etheridge">Bob Etheridge of North Carolina, Baron Hill of Indiana, Dennis Kucinich of Ohio and Mike McIntyre of North Carolina — voted to override after voting against the bill. But Democratic Reps. Jim Marshall of Georgia and Gene Taylor of Mississippi voted to sustain Bush’s veto after also voting against the bill.
>In other changes, Rep. Diane Watson, D-Calif., voted for the override after voting “present” on the bill, and newly elected Rep. Niki Tsongas, D-Mass., voted to override as well. Democratic Rep. William Delahunt of Massachusetts, who was absent when the bill passed, voted to override while Republican Reps. Barbara Cubin of Wyoming, Wally Herger of California and Ted Poe of Texas, who were absent for September’s vote, voted to sustain the veto.