Tuesday :: Oct 23, 2007

Bush Facing SCHIP Defeat

by Steve

The AP reports tonight that House Democrats are on the verge of sending another SCHIP back to the floor, possibly as early as this week. The new bill will have some face-saving features in it to attact another dozen or so GOP representatives who are looking for a way out of the political blunder they stumbled into by sustaining Bush's veto of the bill. Among those features will be clear language that the income cutoff for the program will be what it was in the vetoed bill: three times the national poverty level. And states will be allowed to verify eligibility like they can already.

So by changing the bill to explicitly say what the vetoed bill already did through existing regulation, it allows GOP House members a chance for a do-over. The Senate is already expected to pass the bill and once again override a Bush veto, and perhaps with a few more GOP votes this time.

The White House is trying to save face by now agreeing to spend more money, but also insists that the total cost of the program be no more than $20 billion a year, at a time when Bush blows that much on Iraq and Afghanistan every two months. But even House and Senate Republicans are saying privately that $20 billion isn't enough to cover the 10 million kids that both Democrats and Republicans want covered, so Bush is staring a major defeat in the face right now as his party takes the first step to abandon him for 2008.

And the lesson for Democrats is this: frame everything as a choice between needs here at home and wasting money overseas on Iraq. If you want to make a dent on Iraq, start talking up the money wasted on corruption, Condi's negligent management, and the money wasted on a failed strategy whose only goal is to take us into the next war in Iran.

Steve :: 9:08 PM :: Comments (8) :: Digg It!