Baby-eating season set to open October 8
Bush vetoes child health insurance plan
By JENNIFER LOVEN, Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON - President Bush, in a sharp confrontation with Congress, on Wednesday vetoed a bipartisan bill that would have dramatically expanded children's health insurance.
It was only the fourth veto of Bush's presidency, and one that some Republicans feared could carry steep risks for their party in next year's elections. The Senate approved the bill with enough votes to override the veto, but the margin in the House fell short of the required number.
Democrats unleashed a stream of harsh rhetoric, as they geared up for a battle to both improve their chances of winning a veto override and score political points against Republicans who oppose the expansion.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., decried Bush's action as a "heartless veto."
"Never has it been clearer how detached President Bush is from the priorities of the American people," Reid said in a statement. "By vetoing a bipartisan bill to renew the successful Children's Health Insurance Program, President Bush is denying health care to millions of low-income kids in America."
Democratic congressional leaders said they may put off the override attempt for as long as two weeks to maximize pressure on Republican House members whose votes will be critical.
"We remain committed to making SCHIP into law — with or without the president's support," said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., referring to the full name of the State Children's Health Insurance Program.
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