In his fourth such action, President Bush vetoed legislation today that would expand the State Children Health Insurance Program to double - from 4 million to 8 million - the number of low-income children covered. He does so despite the fact that this had bipartisan support and is supported by an overwhelming majority of the American people - in yet another sign he is intent on taking the entire Republican Party with him. No wonder he did it behind close doors and without "fanfare."
His reason? Supposedly, he's suddenly a fiscal conservative after years of increasing federal spending under Republican control. By comparison, we're spending almost $10 billion a month in Iraq. But what it is really about is ideology. Bush and conservative Republicans think that we can't expand government (unless it has to do with the president's war-making and intelligence powers) to give mostly very poor children health coverage they can't otherwise get. Well, most people don't hold to such stupid and extreme libertarian views because they recognize that if the free market took care of everything you wouldn't have all those kids without health care in the first place.
Unfortunately, while the Senate has the 67 votes to override Bush's veto, the House does not have the 290 votes necessary on their side. However, House Democratic leaders are going to wait on scheduling an override vote for a couple of weeks to build up support. It is likely Democrats can get most or all of they eight members of their caucus that voted against the bill to vote to override and many have said as much. The question now is whether they can put enough pressure on Republicans and get the 25 more votes they need. Democrats and liberal groups are already launching attack ads against endangered Republicans in an effort to do so. Let's hope it works.