FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
House Failure to Override President Bush's SCHIP Veto Vote is a "Bitter Disappointment"
Nation's Top Work/Family Expert Calls Veto "Callous and Indefensible"
Statement of Debra L. Ness, President, National Partnership for Women & Families
Washington, D.C. — October 18, 2007 — “Today, by a narrow margin, the House of Representatives was unable to override President Bush’s callous and short-sighted veto of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP). This is a bitter disappointment that will deal a crushing blow to efforts to help America’s military families, as well as to improve children’s health.
This legislation included a measure to expand the Family & Medical Leave Act (FMLA) for the first time ever, allowing more unpaid leave for families of service members injured in combat. By vetoing this bill, President Bush rejected a recommendation made by his own Commission on Care for America’s Returning Wounded Warriors. We urge Congress to immediately re-introduce this measure, which would mean so much to the military families that already are making such great sacrifices.
Low-income children and families also will suffer if the President’s veto is allowed to stand. President Bush is blocking state efforts to give children in low-income families the health care they need preventive and other care that can improve their health for a lifetime. The bill also included critical provisions designed to improve the quality of pediatric care.
We urge Congress to find a way to do what the nation wants and needs to ensure that a strong bill becomes law despite President Bush's shameful veto.”
The National Partnership for Women & Families is a non-profit, non-partisan advocacy group dedicated to promoting fairness in the workplace, access to quality health care and policies that help women and men meet the dual demands of work and family.