kitty cupOn the SCHIP reauthorization, the House voted 265-159 last night to approve the compromise bill.

That’s 40 votes better than the original House bill but not quite the 2/3 majority we’ll need to override Bush’s threatened veto. We’ll still need to turn around about 20 votes in the House in the next week or so to win this thing after the veto. Howie Klein analyzes who we lost. The Senate vote should come in the next day or two.

From Speaker Pelosi’s closing statement before the House vote:

Speaker Nancy Pelosi: “I’m reminded of the Bible tonight, and I speak with all of the sincerity and all of the hope to President Bush in the hope that he will change his mind. To dig deeply into his heart and think about the children in America who don’t have healthcare. Because if not, I think that the President is giving new meaning to the words, ‘suffer, little children.’ Suffer, little children, if your parents can’t afford health insurance. But they’re working hard and they’re not on Medicaid, but you will suffer because they’re struggling to give you the best possible future. Suffer, little children if your family has played by the rules and they’ve come to this country and you are here as a legal immigrant, because if you are sick, you will not get healthcare unless your parents can afford private insurance. Suffer, little children if you are sick, because you haven’t had the proper nutrition, the proper prevention, the proper early intervention to your affliction, and you should go directly to the emergency room. But until you can get into that emergency room with enough of a serious illness, you will suffer. That’s just not right.”

What happens if the veto can’t be overridden? The backup plan is to have a continuing resolution for a limited period, so the program doesn’t lapse and can continue as is, while the Congress tries again to get another bill passed. To avoid that, we need to win this one the first time through, but if we don’t, we’ll keep working at it. The President and his party of misplaced priorities will just have to deal with that again, and they’re not happy about the prospect.

Thanks to everyone for all the calls you made yesterday and to Christy for spotlighting the issue. You were part a very large coalition of people, health-care professionals and organizations who care about children’s health and understood the importance of this vote. Give yourselves a pat on the back.

Photo: His favorite espresso cup, from josesh27566’s photostream



John has been writing for Firedoglake since 2006 or so, on whatever interests him. He has a law degree, worked as legal counsel and energy policy adviser for a state energy agency for 20 years and then as a consultant on electricity systems and markets. He's now retired, living in Massachusetts.

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