In his Saturday radio address, The Washington Post reports that
President Bush again called Democrats "irresponsible" for pushing an expansion he opposes to a children's health insurance program. "Democrats in Congress have decided to pass a bill they know will be vetoed," Bush said of the measure.
So, one may wonder, just who are these irresponsible Democrats who are pushing the expansion of SCHIP?
"This legislation will get the Children's Health Insurance Program back on track and reclaim precious resources for low-income kids," said Sen. Charles E. Grassley, R-Iowa.
Another Republican, Sen. Orrin G. Hatch, R-Utah, called the agreement "an honest compromise that improves a program that works for America's low-income children." Asked whether he would vote to override a veto, Sen. Hatch, a staunch conservative, said, "You bet your sweet bippy I will."
"I am proud to support this important bill, which will provide health insurance coverage to approximately 4 million more children who would otherwise be uninsured. I'm glad my colleagues and I were able to put politics aside and do what is right for these children," said Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kans.
"I'm very, very disappointed," said Sen. Gordon Smith, R-Ore. "I'm going to be voting for it."
"I am so pleased that the Senate has passed legislation to extend and strengthen this important program. Our bill, which passed with strong bipartisan support, increases funding for SCHIP by $35 billion over the next five years, a level which is sufficient to maintain coverage for all 6.6 million children currently enrolled, and also allows the program to expand to cover an additional 3.3 million low-income children," said Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine.
There is strong bipartisan support for expanding the children's health insurance program in the Congress. But President Bush promises to veto this vital program for children's health. So, who is being irresponsible?