The Senate passed the reauthorization and expansion of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program yesterday 67-29. Eighteen Republicans crossed party lines to give the bill enough votes to override Bush’s expected veto. They did not include Richard Shelby (R-AL) or Jeff Sessions (R-AL), who voted no despite Gov. Bob Riley’s support for the program. Yeah, I was surprised too. Not.
Now the ball is in Bush’s court, and I feel sure he’ll dig in his heels no matter what anyone says to him. The House vote, unfortunately, was not veto-proof, and I doubt there will be a 14-vote swing when the bill comes back.
To the bipartisan backers, I say stick to your guns. If Bush wants to add to his legacy by vetoing a program that has helped to provide health insurance coverage for millions of children, you can’t stop him, and you shouldn’t enable him. Keep sending the bill till either he or fourteen more House members come to their senses.