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President Vetoes SCHIP Bill; House Delays Override Vote
On October 3, President Bush vetoed H.R. 976, the "Children's Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2007." Several hours later, the House approved a motion calling for consideration of the President's veto message to be postponed until October 18.
The President's veto message expressed concern that this bill goes beyond the, State Children's Health Insurance Program's (SCHIP) original goal of covering low-income children and that it would displace private health insurance coverage. The veto message also contained a statement about the President's interest in continuing to work with Congress to reauthorize SCHIP.
Following the announcement from the White House, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) offered a motion on the House floor, proposing that consideration of the President's veto message be postponed until October 18. The House subsequently approved this motion by a near party-line vote of 222 to 197.
A two-thirds majority will be needed in both the House and the Senate to successfully override the President's veto. Last week's votes on passage of H.R. 976 – which prevailed by a margin of 67-29 in the Senate and a margin of 265-159 in the House – suggest that the Senate has enough votes to override the veto, but that the House will need approximately 20 members to switch their votes.