Override of Bush's S-CHIP veto comes before the House

by Steve Handlesman
NBC News

The House of Representatives failed to override President Bush's veto of an expansion of the State Children's Health Insurance Program known as "SCHIP".

House Democrats fell short, and President Bush's veto was upheld but still, Democrats got a lot of GOP votes.

SCHIP helps low income kids like Bethany Wilkerson of Florida, who had heart surgery.

"When Bethany's health issues arose we had that coverage," explained Bethany's mother Dara Wilkerson.

"She might not be here right now from that, but she is because of the SCHIP," added her father Bo.

President Bush and his Republicans allies say they want to insure more needy kids,   but object to expanding coverage beyond the young and poor as some states already have.

Democrats are frustrated; they've lost again, like they did twice this year on Iraq.

Outspoken California Represenative Pete Stark linked the two causes during Thursday's debate.

"You don't have money to fund the war or children, but you'll spend it send to Iraq to get their heads blown off for the President's amusement!," Stark proclaimed.

Republicans formally objected.

Polls show that SCHIP is popular and GOP leaders want the issue defused.

The Senate, where key Republicans already back expanding SCHIP, is demanding that President Bush be the one to bend the most in the final compromise.