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House Passes SCHIP Bill

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Members of the House voted 265-159 Tuesday to approve H.R. 976, a compromise version of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act bill.

President Bush has threatened to veto the bill, arguing that it is too expensive and could crowd out private children’s insurance coverage.

The Senate is expected to approve H.R. 976 later this week by a wide margin, but supporters do not appear to have enough votes in the House to come up with the two-thirds majority needed to overcome a veto.

The version of H.R. 976 that the House passed would increase funding by $35 billion over 5 years, to a total of $60 billion.

Current authorization for the program is set to expire Sunday.

Bush, who wants to increase SCHIP funding by just $5 billion, to $10 billion, has asked Congress to deal with the impasse by sending him a temporary SCHIP extension bill.


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