Senate SCHIP Vote; New Ad Targets Chabot (R)
The interesting thing about yesterday's 60-34 vote in the U.S. Senate on SCHIP Expansion 2.0 was that this time the Republicans accelerated the vote, hoping to cut off negotiations that might lure just enough House GOP members to create a veto-proof majority:
On Thursday, Senate Republican leaders objected to Democratic requests to allow more time for the bipartisan negotiations seeking a compromise. The purpose of the talks was to win over enough House Republicans to override the veto promised by the president.
In an interview, Representative Judy Biggert, Republican of Illinois, said, “The talks were making really good progress.” But, she said, “everything changed” after the top two Senate Republicans, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and Trent Lott of Mississippi, “objected to postponing a Senate vote” on the bill.
This confirms my sense that the negotiations reported this week may be a very positive thing, changing the bill not very much in order to draw just enough additional GOP support to thwart the president. No wonder the GOP leadership has their knickers in a twist over it.
The possibility of negotations is not extinguished; look for a veto followed by a short-term extension of the existing program and then more talks.
Meanwhile, a coalition led Americans United For Change and AFSCME is out with a powerful new TV ad, slamming Republican leadership over SCHIP, a local version of which will be targeted at Rep. Steve Chabot (R-Westwood) of the 1st Ohio Congressional District: