WASHINGTON, Sept. 8 (UPI) -- U.S. congressional Democrats won't try again to pass a controversial expansion of the Children's Health Insurance Program, party leaders said Monday.
U.S. House Democrats couldn't muster the votes needed to override Republican President George Bush's two previous vetoes of the "SCHIP" expansion, and despite vows to force another showdown, they now say they are scrapping plans for yet another try, The New York Times reported.
"We are not going to change any votes on the children's health insurance bill," House Democratic Caucus Chairman Rahm Emmanuel, D-Ill., told the newspaper. "We still don't have enough to override a veto. Those who opposed this bill can face the voters and explain why they believe 10 million kids should not get health coverage."
The move is significant because Democratic candidates for Congress have used Republican opposition to the SCHIP extension as campaign fodder. But Democratic leaders told the Times the cost of the bill has increased, and Congress would need to find a way to defray the extra cost by cutting elsewhere if it were passed this year.