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Exchange of the Day

I thought this was a pretty good answer by Tony Fratto:

Q Tony, back to the supplemental, the President just vetoed SCHIP — you know, an extra $35 billion for children’s health care, saying he wanted to be fiscally responsible; hold the line on federal spending. How does he then justify coming out of the gate with an — you know, in such a short period of time and saying, now I need an extra $40-plus billion for Iraq?
MR. FRATTO: Well, I could see that point if that was what the President said, but that’s exactly not what the President said. What the President said was is that they have the policy wrong on SCHIP, not that it’s too expensive or is —
Q They were asking for too much, though, right?
MR. FRATTO: No, they were asking for a policy that was bad. Let me tell you something about the — what the SCHIP bill that Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid are proposing, okay. If you look at the eligible communities in this bill, it would result in 57 percent of children in this country and about 53 percent of families with children on public assistance, or at least eligible for public assistance.
Now what the President has said is that poor children should come first. Now there are a lot of things you can say about half the families in America. Half of them aren’t poor. And so the President has said that the policy is wrong. He didn’t say that it’s too expensive — although it is too expensive to spend money on the wrong policy. So what he has said is the policy is wrong.
Now, with regard to the supplemental request, children — the right children, poor children getting their health care, and the needs of our troops can both be accomplished. They’re both priorities and we can handle both of those requests.

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