After being approved by both the House and Senate, the bill calling for a federal excise tax of 61 cents per pack for cigarettes has been vetoed by President Bush. The tax, which would fund the $35 billion Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act (CHIPRA), has been in the president’s
sights for some time now. On many occasions, he’s vowed to shoot down the bill in favor of his own proposed $5 billion aid program for CHIPRA.
The bill, which would also up the tax on other tobacco products (OTP) as well, is being brought back to the House for another vote. In order to overturn the president’s veto, the House needs 2/3 majority votes before it can be passed onto the Senate.
“While the House did not obtain enough votes to overturn a veto on the first go around, the democrats have since been hard at work trying to obtain additional republican votes,” Bonnie Herzog, tobacco analyst for the Citi Group, said in an email. “According to our contacts, there have been several advertisements funded by democrats that attempt to “guilt trip” republicans into voting for the CHIPRA bill.”
The House is expected to vote on Oct. 18, according to Herzog.