There are no words to express the disgust I feel over this news: The House failed to garner enough votes to override Bush’s SCHIP veto this afternoon.
The vote to override the veto was 273 to 156, or 13 votes short of the necessary two-thirds majority of those present and voting; the bill was originally approved by a 265 to 159 vote on Sept. 25.
The main suspense before today’s vote was over how many Republicans would side against President Bush. Forty-four House Republicans voted for the bill today, compared with 45 on Sept. 25.
Senator Harry Reid, the Senate majority leader, and Representative Rahm Emanuel, chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, immediately issued comments:
“Each Republican who voted to uphold President Bush’s heartless veto should be embarrassed that he chose to stand in the way of improving the lives of millions of America’s poorest children,” Mr. Reid said. “While we appreciate those who voted to override his veto, there unfortunately remain too many who are all too willing to rubber-stamp President Bush’s shameful policies and succumb to his misinformation campaign.”
Mr. Emanuel was defiant. “In the coming days, Democrats will not back down and we will insist on providing health care coverage to these 10 million children,” he said.
Senator John Kerry today issued the following statement in response to the House of Representatives vote to override President Bush’s veto of bipartisan S-CHIP legislation:
“Today, thirteen Roadblock Republicans joined President Bush to deny health care for 10 million of America’s children,” said Kerry. “Thirteen Republicans put President Bush’s ideological agenda first and put health care for poor children last: behind Halliburton and Blackwater, and behind tax giveaways for the wealthiest Americans. Blocking health care for children isn’t compassionate or conservative, and it surely isn’t wise. This fight is far from over.”
See The Gavel for Nancy Pelosi’s closing statement before the vote. Those Republican’s who caved to Bush’s will are “despicable,”and should be ashamed to call themselves Representatives of the United States Congress. I am appalled at the lack of “compassion” for the poor and struggling families of America whose children go without healthcare.