FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
With SCHIP Veto, Bush Also Denies Family and Medical Leave to Families of Wounded Soldiers
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 3, 2007 — “With today’s veto of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), President Bush not only denied urgently needed medical care to children in low-income families, he vetoed a measure to extend the Family & Medical Leave Act (FMLA) for up to six months for families of wounded military personnel. This veto is callous and indefensible.
The FMLA extension was a recommendation of the President’s own Commission on Care for America’s Returning Wounded Warriors. Recognizing that families of service members injured in combat are making great sacrifices and are under enormous stress, Congress moved quickly to pass the measure. Now that the President has vetoed it, prospects for enactment this year are uncertain. It would have been the first-ever expansion of the 14-year-old Family & Medical Leave Act.
The SCHIP bill also contained a modest increase that would have given more children the health care they need, and critical provisions designed to improve the quality of pediatric care. This veto is unjustified and will cause terrible harm. We urge Congress to override it quickly without compromising on the essential features in this legislation.”
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.