Democrats Drop SCHIP Bill

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Democrats Drop SCHIP Bill

WASHINGTON -- Congressional Democrats officially nixed plans for another vote on expanding the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP). While Republicans are relieved they will not vote on the controversial issue before a major election, retailers are at ease, as the legislation would have raised federal cigarette taxes.

Representative Rahm Emanuel of Illinois, chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, told The New York Times "We are not going to change any votes on the children’s health insurance bill. We still don’t have enough to override a veto. Those who opposed this bill can face the voters and explain why they believe 10 million kids should not get health coverage."

While Democrats were pushing for another vote on the legislation before the August recess, President Bush vetoed two earlier versions of the legislation saying at the time it was a dangerous step toward "government-run health care for every American."

House Democrats fell 13 votes short of the two-thirds majority needed to override the president’s first veto last October, and they were 15 votes short when they tried again in January, reported The New York Times.