Congressional leaders are still unable to come to an agreement on language that will allow for a veto-proof majority to reauthorize the State Children’s Health Insurance Program – or SCHIP.
President Bush vetoed the original version of the bill sent to his desk, saying the cost was too high. Many Congressional Republicans now claim the newer version being considered would allow illegal aliens to benefit at taxpayer expense.
Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO) says that is false because language in the new version prohibits extending the benefit to illegals. Senator Kit Bond (R-MO) wants to see more negotiation to come up with a bill that is acceptable to a large majority of lawmakers. As for the illegal immigrant issue, Bond says guarantees called for in the bill can easily be bypassed.
Opponents of the bill express concerns there is no value in setting up rules which might or might not be enforced by individual states.