The U.S. House will try next week to override President Bush’s veto of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program. The legislation was written, in part, by Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley. Bush last week vetoed the 35-billion-dollar increase in the so-called S-CHIP program, after asking for a smaller increase.
Grassley, a Republican, says he’s hopeful the current bill can be saved. "I hope we can get 15 votes to override the president’s veto. If we do, then it’s law, "Grassley says,"if we don’t, we’ll have to go back to the drawing board in a bi-cameral, bi-partisan way and try to work out something that will accomplish one of two things: either have the president sign it, or if the president can’t sign it a second time, get the votes to override a veto."
Grassley says he hopes as the bill is taken up again, attention will be "refocused in a responsible way on low-income children." Grassley says: "I favor both the S-CHIP program and I favor the president’s proposal, or let’s say not just the president’s proposal. There’s a lot of different proposals floating around to cover, through tax incentives, uninsured people who buy individual health insurance policies including refundable credits for low-income people who maybe can’t afford it."
Grassley says he doubts both issues can be incorporated into one bill. A White House spokesman said the president is willing to work for a compromise with Congress on S-CHIP, which Grassley says leaves him a little bewildered and wondering, why didn’t they offer to compromise earlier — before the vote and before the veto?