Thursday, October 4, 2007

SCHIP Supporters Are At Least Ten Votes Short to Override a Bush Veto

The Democrats are now going to take two weeks to try to change some minds before they attempt to override the Bush veto of the SCHIP bill--scheduling a vote for October 18th. If nothing else they will continue to hammer on the President and his Republican supporters over what is turning out to be a very unpopular stand by the President.

The Senate approved the SCHIP compromise by a vote of 67-29. SCHIP supporters would need 67 votes to override the President's veto. The Senate should be able to hold at that level--albeit with no margin for backsliding.

But, the numbers are not on the side of a veto override in the House.

The House originally passed the SCHIP bipartisan compromise 265-159 with 45 Republicans voting for it and eight Democrats voting against it.

To override, the bill's supporters are going to have to find 290 votes for it.

147 Republicans have just signed a pledge to stay with their President on this. That means that even if all Democrats now vote for the bill and 147 Republicans vote against it, supporters would have 288--two short.

Assuming that all of the Republicans who did not sign the pledge can be persuaded to vote for the override, supporters are also going to have to change the mind of every Democrat who voted against it and get at least a couple of Republicans who signed the pledge to change their minds--or find some other combination that yields them at least 10 more votes.

Not impossible but really hard.

If the veto is not overridden, the two sides will find a way to continue SCHIP at least at current levels. Not even President Bush wants any stories about kids who are covered today losing their coverage.
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