House Democrats' plans to expand a children's health insurance program hit a brick wall again yesterday when they failed to attract the Republican votes necessary to override a presidential veto, reports the Washington Post. The final vote on a reworked $35 billion expansion of the State Children's Health Insurance Program was 265-142, more than a dozen votes short of the two-thirds majority needed to defeat a veto.
Of the 265 who voted for the legislation, 43 were Republicans, two fewer than supported the original bill in September. Regardless of the final outcome, Dems believe the battle is a winning issue for them. If they work out a compromise, they can claim victory. If the measure stalls, they can skewer Republicans for killing a popular program to help kids without health insurance.