Democratic Governor Chet Culver says Iowans need to demand a reversal from Republican Steve King, the only one of Iowa’s give congressmen to vote “no” on a bill which expands the state children’s health insurance program, called S-CHIP.
“Congressman King has more kids in his district covered under S-CHIP than any congressman in the state, so we’re asking him to reconsider and if there’s an override attempt, to support the override,” Culver says. President Bush has vowed to veto the bill, which then may come up for an override vote in the U.S. House.
“This administration has had no problems giving big oil companies tax breaks — billions and billions of dollars — and we’re asking them for an extra $35 billion over five years for the kids of Iowa and the kids of this country,” Culver says. “To the credit of most of the members of congress, they understand that.” The three Democrats who represent Iowa in congress joined Republican Congressman Tom Latham of Ames in voting for the bill.
King said he voted “no” because the expansion would end up providing government-paid health care coverage to some of the children of illegal immigrants. King believes the best solution would be an 18-month extension of the program as it operates now. Culver says if nothing’s done, Iowa is one of 15 states that will have a shortfall in the program starting October 1st and according to Culver, King’s decision to vote against the plan was wrong.
“He voted to stand with President Bush instead of standing with the 9,000 kids in his district that are relying on this funding,” Culver says. King also opposed the deal because it raised the federal tax on a pack of cigarettes by a dollar per pack.