SCHIP passes through Senate, Bush to veto

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Yesterday, the Senate passed a State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) reauthorization bill with a vote of 67-29, which adds $35 billion to the program. The legislation is now going to President Bush, who promised to veto the bill next week.

According to White House Press Secretary Dana Perino, “The President will veto this bill because it directs scarce funding to higher incomes at the expense of poor families.”

The Senate bill proposes to raise the federal tobacco tax from 39 cents to $1.00 for a cigarette pack, in order to defray the cost of the new spending under the congressional budget rules.

Earlier in the week, the House of Representatives approved the bill, 265 to 159. The bill does not currently have the required 288 House votes needed to override a presidential veto.