The House [debated] the override of the President’s veto of the revised bipartisan SCHIP (State Children’s Health Insurance Program) bill. The President’s veto on December 12 denied health care to children of hardworking families across America just as the country began experiencing an economic downturn, with families increasingly struggling with the costs of heat, food, gas and health care.
Unfortunately, the House Republicans sustained Bush's veto, by narrowly denying the two-thirds necessary to override the veto: 260 in favor of passage versus 152 against, despite the veto-proof margin in the Senate, meaning 42 Republicans voted with the Democrats. Rep. Charlie Rangel:
“I stand in support of overriding the President’s veto, not for the reasons given by Chairman Dingell — that it’s the right and moral position — because that has existed all of the time and yet we’ve been unsuccessful. But I would say to the gentleman from Texas that since the last time this has come up, the President has admitted we are going toward a recession and that economy may be jeopardized unless the Congress supported a stimulus package. It would just seem to me that if it’s recognized that our states are going to go into deficit, our governors are going to have serious problems, and that it is very possible if not likely that services for our kids will be further cut under Medicaid, it would seem to me that a legitimate argument could be made that by providing care for these 11 million children it allows the parents to know that they’ll be able to be more productive knowing that their kids are covered by health insurance. It’s sad that the poor now have to be used merely as a vehicle to stimulate our economy but had we taken care of these people… perhaps we’d be not going through this struggle. So it occurs to me that this is another opportunity that the minority would have, not just to do the moral thing but to do the economic thing, and to be of some assistance to the governors who are screaming out for the continuation of this program, indeed the expansion of it.”