The House was scheduled to vote late Oct. 25 on legislation expanding the State Children’s Health Insurance Plan that was revised to meet the objections of Republicans. But whether the changes would generate a veto-proof majority was unclear at press time.
The substance of the legislation remains the same as one that narrowly failed to surmount a presidential veto.
Ten days ago, the House failed to override President Bush’s veto of the SCHIP bill, missing the two-thirds majority needed with 273 voting to override and 156 against.
For example, the bill still calls for an increase on tobacco product taxes to fund a $35 billion expansion over SCHIP’s current $25 billion 5-year funding baseline.
But to win over recalcitrant Republicans, the new bill tightens income eligibility levels, speeds the elimination of coverage for childless adults, and strengthens citizenship verification requirements.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said before the vote that the revised bill addresses all of the concerns expressed by Republicans and the president.
“It clarifies the language on the claim that was made that people making $83,000 a year could receive SCHIP; that was patently not true, and it is clarified in the legislation that it is not so,” she said.