Meanies Trying To Help Kids
The Senate just passed a revised SCHIP bill and has enough votes to override Bush's veto - and there are rumors of a compromise in the works:
In a situation of bewildering political complexity, Republicans dictated the decision to pass the legislation speedily. It appeared their goal was to short-circuit attempts by supporters of the bill to reach a compromise that could attract enough votes in the House to override Bush's veto.
Attempts by Reid to delay final passage of the bill until next week or longer drew objections from the GOP.
"I believe a deal is within reach," said Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, a participant in meetings with two senior Senate Republicans, Sens. Charles Grassley of Iowa and Orrin Hatch of Utah, and several members of the House GOP.
Rep. Judy Biggert, R-Ill., who supported Bush's first veto and is involved in the discussions, said "we are pretty close" to an agreement but that several issues remain. For example, she said, the two sides had narrowed their differences on the issue of insuring maximum coverage of poor children before those in slightly higher-income families can be brought into the program.
Of course, now Bush is objecting to the financing mechanism, though I'm sure he won't be coming up with one on his own that he can live with. So the President has responded to public outcry and damagin his party for a generation by retreating FURTHER away from the program. You can only conclude that he doesn't want it to go forward. But these negotiations may leave him no choice.
Of course, this could all have been resolved earlier if the Democrats weren't such mean meanie meanheads.
The latest rationale: They voted against it because Democratic leaders were nasty to them. That's what angry House GOPers have now told Dem leaders in a private meeting on the Hill:
In a closed-door meeting before the last vote on the children’s health care bill, House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer appealed for the support of about 30 wavering Republican lawmakers. What he got instead was a tongue-lashing, participants said.
The GOP lawmakers, all of whom had expressed interest in a bipartisan deal on the SCHIP legislation, were furious that the Democratic leader from Maryland had not reached out to them in a more serious way early on. They also criticized him and Democratic Caucus Chairman Rahm Emanuel of Illinois for failing to stop his allies outside Congress from running attack ads in their districts, while they were discussing a bipartisan deal.
They really are the Baby Party. Can you imagine Tom DeLay wasting one moment of his time on the FEELINGS of Democrats before ramming through one of his middle-of-the-night corporate giveaways? And these same House Republicans decrying the partisanship over the bill were the ones... being partisan about it, during the debate:
If GOPers were really interested in reaching an understanding with Dems, they had a funny way of showing it. Over a month ago, for instance, Keller accused Speaker Nancy Pelosi of "playing politics" while risking the health of "6 million children." He blasted the Dems' SCHIP plan as "socialized medicine" funded by a "gigantic tax increase."
Another Republican who claimed to want to compromise with Dems on SCHIP, Rep. Tom Price, was similarly caustic in his hits on Dems early on, blasting the Dems' SCHIP plan a month ago as having "nothing to do with our nation’s neediest children and everything to do with political posturing."
And these gentle souls are now complaining that they didn't support SCHIP because Dems were mean to them?
It's a tremendus bit of projection, isn't it? The Republicans are out of ideas other than blocking things like children's health, so they'll fall back on that "sure winner," whining about partisanship. They are DEFINED by partisanship. And so their criticism falls on deaf ears.