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Thursday, October 25, 2007
GOP cries foul on timing of children's health vote
From Deirdre Walsh and Jessica Yellin
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- House Republicans are fuming over Democrats' decision to hold the next vote on the State Children's Health Insurance Program on Thursday -- when many Republicans will be in California as President Bush tours areas hit by wildfires.
"Five to seven members are going, all of whom would be 'no' votes, and [Democrats] know it," House Republican Whip Roy Blunt told CNN. "This is clearly designed to minimize the Republican opposition to this bill."
President Bush vetoed the proposed five-year expansion and $35 billion spending increase for SCHIP on October 3.
House Democrats tried to override the veto last week, but failed to get the two-thirds majority needed for a veto. The bill to be taken up on Thursday is a revised version that Democrats hope will win converts.
At a meeting of Republican House members to discuss the revised bill, Rep. Louis Gohmert of Texas said the Democrats are "taking advantage of a disaster to loot the American treasury."
Thirteen Republicans from fire-stricken districts signed a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday, urging her as "a fellow Californian" to postpone the vote.
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