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Wednesday, October 3, 2007
Bush vetoes expansion of kids' health insurance program
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- President Bush on Wednesday vetoed legislation expanding a children's health insurance program by $35 billion over five years.
Bush quietly exercised the veto at 10 a.m. before leaving the White House for a trip to Lancaster, Pennsylvania, to discuss the federal budget and taxes.
Congress sent the legislation expanding the State Children's Health Insurance Program, or SCHIP, to the White House on Tuesday.
"It is our hope and the will of the American people that the president will sign the bill into law on behalf of the future. It is right for no less than 10 million reasons -- our children," Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a joint statement.
The Senate voted 67-29 Thursday to expand the program. Bush has said it's a step toward universal coverage, which he opposes on philosophical grounds.
The program would double -- from 4 million to 8 million -- the number of children covered.
Eighteen Republicans joined all of the Democrats in voting to expand the program from its annual budget of $5 billion to $12 billion for the next five years.