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Top Democratic Vote-Counter Concedes No Chance of Overriding SCHIP Veto

WASHINGTON, Oct. 9 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- House Republican Whip Roy Blunt (Mo.) issued the following statement today after House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.) yesterday suggested on CNN that Democrats wouldn't be able to garner enough votes to override the president's veto of the SCHIP bill:

"Yesterday, the House majority whip acknowledged that Democrats will be hard-pressed to override the president's veto of a bill that puts our nation on a clear path toward government-run health care. Given this reality, it seems reasonable that the majority would sit down with Republicans to craft an appropriate compromise -- a plan that covers poor kids without imposing a bureaucrat-driven system on those who have their own insurance.

"What we've seen instead, however, is the continuation of a coordinated campaign to muddy the waters on SCHIP -- attempting to extract political advantage from a legitimate disagreement over who should, and who should not, be eligible for taxpayer-funded care.

"Republicans believe the SCHIP program ought to cover the kids for whom it was originally designed -- before expanding it to families who make as much as $83,000 year. I hope Democrats will reconsider their intractable position on this issue, and at some point consider working with Republicans to make sure poor kids aren't forced out of line by families with the means to manage their own health care."

NOTE: On CNN yesterday, Rep. Clyburn said he thinks "it will be tough" to override the president's veto, suggesting the 265 votes Democrats attracted last time represented the "high-water mark." For his part, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (Nevada) declared that not "another ounce of compromise" can be wrung out of the debate, calling the president's veto "an insult."

SOURCE House Republican Whip Roy Blunt
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