The stage was set for a confrontation with the president yesterday as the Senate passed a bill expanding health insurance for children's with a veto-proof, bipartisan majority of 67 to 29. Bush has repeatedly vowed to veto the measure, which drew the support of 18 of 49 Senate Republicans, including many of the presidents usual allies, reports the Washington Post. The measure passed the House earlier in the week, but without the votes to override.
The showdown over the popular bill, which would renew and expand a program aimed at low-income children, is likely to bloody GOP lawmakers who are up for re-election next year. Intense lobbying and advertising campaigns are already being launched to pressure House Republicans to abandon the president; Democrats threaten to make anyone who opposes it pay at the polls.