Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Bush Ups the Budget Pressure--Shows No Sign of Compromising on SCHIP

President Bush just made a statement on the SCHIP bill and the upcoming 2008 budget votes. Standing in front of the White House with the Republican leaders behind him, he blasted the Democratic Congress, the recent SCHIP bill passed by the House, and rumored efforts on the part of Democratic leaders to couple defense and Iraq spending bills with domestic budget bills.

The bottom line is that the SCHIP and 2008 budget efforts look to be more contentious then ever.

The Democrats really screwed up the SCHIP vote in the House last week. Rather then reach-out to fence-sitting Republicans before the latest House SCHIP vote, the Dems overplayed their hand and tried to ram a purely Democratic new version of the SCHIP bill down the Republicans' throats. That all backfired and the result was a vote well short of what they will need to override the coming Bush veto.

Dems are now trying a do-over on that mistake as they now reach-out to Republicans in both the House and Senate, as they should have done last week, in an attempt to get an improved SCHIP bill. Most of these discussions are around fine-tuning the 300% of poverty limit on who can be eligible for benefits.

But this morning Bush took as hard a line as he could.

It is possible that the Democrats can get enough votes behind another version of SCHIP.

But it also looks like we are headed for one heck of a budget mess.
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