Cigarette smokers can breath a temporary sigh of relief. Uninsured children, not so much.
In a valiant attempt, the U.S. House of Representatives failed to override President Bush’s veto of H.R. 976, a bill that would reauthorize and expand the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (S-CHIP). Said bill would have provided $35 billion to fund the reauthorization by adding an excise tax 61 cents per pack to cigarettes and tobacco products.
In recent weeks, both the House and the Senate passed the bill, only for it to be vetoed by President Bush, a strong opponent of the bill. The House’s attempt to override the veto saw a 273-to-156 vote, 13 short of the two-thirds majority needed to overcome a presidential veto.
“As it is clear that this legislation lacks sufficient support to become law, now is the time for Congress to stop playing politics and to join the president in finding common ground to reauthorize this vital program,” Dana Perino, spokeswoman for President Bush, told the New York Times.