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WASHINGTON, DC - Sept. 20: Podium, bearing seal of the House Speaker, waits for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., for a news conference after President Bush on Thursday said congressional Democrats would bear the blame if a health insurance program for poor children is not renewed by Sept. 30, halting the flow of federal funds. Democrats -- and one prominent Senate Republican -- promptly disagreed, and refused to abandon their efforts to expand the program to reach more children. At a news conference, Bush renewed his vow to veto a measure to expand the State Children's Health Insurance Program by $35 billion over five years, to $60 billion annually, offsetting the costs with an increase in federal cigarette taxes. He said the measure would result in "millions" of children shifting from private health insurance to the government program and raise taxes on "working people." He said Democrats should instead send him a "clean" extension of the State Children's Health Insurance Program to ensure its funding continues to flow in the new fiscal year, which begins Oct. 1. "Members of Congress are putting health coverage for poor children at risk so they can score political points in Washington," Bush said. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., seemed unconcerned about Bush's effort to blame Democrats for an SCHIP impasse. "If the Republicans think it's a winner to say we prefer not taxing cigarettes and to not insure children, that's a fight we welcome," she said. (Photo by Scott J. Ferrell/Congressional Quarterly).

WASHINGTON, DC - Sept. 20: Podium, bearing seal of the House Speaker, waits for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., for a news conference after President Bush on Thursday said congressional Democrats would bear the blame if a health insurance program for poor children is not renewed by Sept. 30, halting the flow of federal funds. Democrats -- and one prominent Senate Republican -- promptly disagreed, and refused to abandon their efforts to expand the program to reach more children. At a...
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