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Pelosi Statement on Vote to Approve New Children's Health Insurance Legislation

WASHINGTON, Oct. 25 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Democratic leaders held a news conference in the Capitol this evening following the vote on the revised bipartisan SCHIP bill, which passed by a vote of 265 to 142. Below are the Speaker's opening remarks:

"Today we took another step forward in providing health insurance for 10 million children. It's an interesting vote. Although we had a number of absences on both sides, we had a situation where on the motion to recommit, the Republicans who all day railed against the increase in taxes in the package, in their motion to recommit, had the same 61-cent tax on cigarettes.

"The only thing is they had fewer children covered by it, approximately 3 million fewer children. They made a point of saying in their presentation that the tax was the same as in the underlying bill. Their motion to recommit last time when the bill first came up was that they had a 45-cent tax. So this whole argument about increasing taxes is bogus, as witnessed by their own motion to recommit. What is disturbing about it though is with the same amount of funding, they insured 3 million fewer children.

"So we have some things to work out between us but I really have no doubt that the conversations that are going on between Democrats and Republicans, House and Senate, will result in a bill going to the President's desk that will ultimately result in the 10 million children being covered.

"I salute my colleagues for the level of debate that they engaged in today, the focus on children. That has been the focus of this Congress. This Congress has been bipartisan and overwhelmingly supportive of children."

SOURCE Office of the Speaker of the House
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