failed. The White House response:
President Bush strongly supports reauthorizing and expanding the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) in a way that puts poor children first, so he was pleased the House of Representatives voted today to sustain his veto of misguided legislation that would have expanded SCHIP to higher income households. This is the outcome that everyone has expected for weeks. 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. The President has directed HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt, NEC Director Al Hubbard, and OMB Director Jim Nussle to lead the Administration’s discussions with Congressional leaders to achieve this goal. We look forward to finding common ground on legislation that covers the more than 500,000 poor children who are eligible for SCHIP but have not yet been enrolled. If enrolling these children requires more than the 20 percent funding increase proposed by the President, we will work with Congress to find the necessary money.