Update 2:20pm Eastern. Veto override failed. Here’s the roll call vote.
GOP leader Boehner’s statement:
House Republican Leader John Boehner (R-OH) today expressed disappointment at the Majority’s latest attempt to expand the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) to cover illegal immigrants and adults at the expense of low-income children. Boehner voted to sustain the President’s veto of the flawed measure and issued the following statement:
“After two failures to override the President’s vetoes of their flawed SCHIP bill, I hope congressional Democrats finally end the political games that have dominated this debate and work with Republicans to focus on low-income children first. The Majority’s bill would shortchange low-income children and expand SCHIP coverage to illegal immigrants, adults, and those who already have private health insurance. This is particularly irresponsible at a time when our economy is slowing down and American families are feeling the strain from rising costs of living.
“Democrats and Republicans alike established SCHIP a decade ago to ensure our nation’s low-income children have access to high-quality health care. Likewise, just a month ago, both parties overwhelmingly voted to extend SCHIP into 2009 and cover the program’s funding shortfall. Unfortunately, that spirit of cooperation has consistently taken a back seat to the Majority’s ongoing efforts to politicize this issue in order to move more Americans from private insurance to government-run health care. As we have been for the past year, Republicans are ready to work in a bipartisan way to reauthorize SCHIP and keep its focus on low-income children. After this latest failed attempt to enact its flawed legislation, I hope the Majority is finally ready to do the same.”
Update 11:37am Eastern. Nancy Pelosi is on the floor. She praises Dems for wasting 100 hours posturing about The Children. Give yourselves a hand.
Now, she’s talking about the stimulus package…which she says is an argument for massively expanding S-CHIP…to illegal aliens, adults, and families who already have health insurance.
Update 11:11am Eastern. Oh, boy Pete Stark Raving Mad is on the floor now. Remember what happened last time? Looks like he took a valium this morning to prevent another BDS outburst.
As I noted yesterday, the House Dems are attempting to override the president’s veto of their massive entitlement expansion plans. The debate has just begin on C-SPAN and GOP Rep. Joe Barton summed it up: “Here we go again.”
GOP leader John Boehner’s office boils it down:
Today, the House will hold a politically-orchestrated vote to override the President’s veto of a flawed “children’s” health care bill that actually would cover illegal immigrants, adults, and families who already have health insurance. Sound familiar? It should. That’s because the House held the same vote three months ago, when the House sustained the President’s first veto of this irresponsible legislation. Today’s political games are especially disappointing since Congress voted in an overwhelmingly bipartisan fashion last month to extend the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) into 2009 and cover the program’s funding shortfall – a bill modeled on legislation introduced by House Republicans all the way back in September.
In any case, the House could have held this override vote in December after the President vetoed it, but leaders of the Majority pushed it off for more than a month in an attempt to drum up more support. Did it work? Not at all…
…The problems with the Majority’s most recent sham SCHIP bill are countless, but here are just a handful:
* It fails to put low-income children first.
* It insures adults and illegal immigrants.
* It forces some two million children from private health insurance to government-run care.
* It contains a massive tax hike and district-specific earmarks and pork projects.
* And according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) it even COSTS MORE and COVERS FEWER CHILDREN than the Majority’s original SCHIP legislation, which the President vetoed last fall.
…Last year, Democrats routinely used our nation’s children as a political football, and their strategy imploded. Apparently unfazed by their failure, they seem poised to keep on playing the political games in 2008 – and their allies on the Left seem willing to join them once again. After tens of millions of dollars – and countless hours – spent fruitlessly by House Democrats and their liberal allies, will the Majority finally acknowledge the need to work with Republicans to put low-income children first? Or will they continue to push flawed bill after flawed bill that insures illegal immigrants and adults at the expense of the low-income children both parties designed SCHIP to serve in the first place?
But hey, what do we know? We’re just selfish you-know-whats.
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