Custom Search

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Bush Slams Congress On Lack Of Appropriation Bills & SCHIP

From the President's press conference on Appropriation Bills:

Now, that's not what the leadership in the Congress wants me to do. They want the executive branch to accept an increase in spending over the next five years to $205 billion. Put that in perspective, that's $1,300 in new spending every second of every minute of every hour of every day of every year for the next five years. That's about $13,000 as long as it took me to say that -- (laughter) -- $205 billion of additional spending will mean they're going to have to raise taxes to pay for it. I think that would be bad for the economy. I don't think it makes sense to be taking money out of the pockets of the individuals in America, or money out of the pockets of small businesses -- particularly if we set priorities, we can fund that which we need to fund.

And so you're fixing to see what they call a fiscal showdown in Washington. One of the reasons why they --(applause) -- the Congress gets to propose, and if it doesn't meet needs, as far I'm concerned, I get to veto. And that's precisely what I intend to do. I wish Congress would get me some appropriations bills. (Applause.) I don't know if the people in Rogers understand our calendar, but the fiscal year ended on September the 30th. And yet I hadn't seen one appropriations bill. I think we're like 15 days into the fiscal year and not one appropriations bill has made it to my desk.

Congress needs to be responsible with your money, and they need to pass these appropriations bills, one at a time. And then we can work together to see whether or not they make fiscal sense for the United States. I don't think it makes sense, though, for a new Congress to come in and make promises about how they're going to be wise about what they're going to do with your money and get bills to my desk, and not be able to perform.

So I'm looking forward to getting back to Washington and remind people in the United States Congress that they said they were going to do a better job with getting these bills to my desk, and I'm going to remind them they hadn't got one yet. Not one bill has come out of United States Congress that appropriates your taxpayers' money.

Out of the 12 appropriations bills that are due, not one has reached his desk.

On the Armenian Genocide Bill from The Swamp:

“With all these pressing responsibilities, one thing Congress should not be doing is sorting out the historical record of the Ottoman Empire,’’ the president said of a resolution condemning the slaughter of Armenians nearly a century ago as genocide – a resolution in the House which has strained relations with Turkey. “Congress has more important work to do than antagonizing an important ally in the Muslim world.’’

From the press conference in the James S. Brady Briefing Room, regarding SCHIP:

THE PRESIDENT: Good morning. We're now more than halfway through October, and the new leaders in Congress have had more than nine months to get things done for the American people. Unfortunately, they haven't managed to pass many important bills. Now the clock is winding down and in some key areas Congress is just getting started.

Congress has work to do on health care. Tomorrow Congress will hold a vote attempting to override my veto of the S-CHIP bill. It's unlikely that that override vote will succeed, which Congress knew when they sent me the bill. Now it's time to put politics aside and seek common ground to reauthorize this important program. I've asked Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt, National Economic Council Director Al Hubbard, and OMB Director Jim Nussle to lead my administration's discussions with the Congress. I made clear that if putting poor children first requires more than the 20 percent increase in funding I proposed, we'll work with Congress to find the money we need. I'm confident we can work out our differences and reauthorize S-CHIP.

More on the SCHIP veto from the original press conference I first mentioned:

Recently, I did make a decision to veto a piece of legislation. I want to spend a little time talking about why. And then I'll be glad to answer some questions. There's a -- what's called S-CHIP -- it's a Children's Health Insurance Program -- made it to my desk and I vetoed it. And I'm going to tell you why -- (applause) -- I'm going to tell you why.

First of all, it's important for our citizens to understand that we spend $35 billion a year for poor children's health care, through Medicaid -- $35 billion. So if you hear rhetoric out of Washington saying we're not taking care of poor children in America, they're just not reminding you of the fact that because of your generosity, we're spending $35 billion a year.

Secondly, a program was created to help poorer children with struggling families; when I was the governor of Texas, I supported it. And as President, I support it. But the piece of legislation I got doesn't focus on the poorer children. Many Americans don't understand a half a million kids eligible for this program that aren't getting help under the program.

The bill sent to me didn't say, we're going to focus on those half-million that are eligible; the bill sent to me said, we can expand eligibility for the program up to $83,000. I want you to think about that. If you're making up to $83,000 in certain states you're eligible for the program. And yet half a million poorer children aren't being helped. My attitude is, let's help the poorer children. Let's make sure the program does what it's supposed to do.

Now, there's some in Washington, D.C. who genuinely believe that the best health care policy is to expand the role of the federal government. I don't subscribe to that. I think the best health care policy is to encourage private medicine, is to make sure the decisions are between doctors and patients. (Applause.) And yet, if you're saying you can make up to $83,000 and be a part of this program, it sounds like to me somebody wants to extend the reach of the federal government into medicine. That's what it sounds like to me.

Another factor that came into my thinking was not only a half a million children not being taken care of under the program, and not only is the eligibility requirements being expanded way beyond the scope of the program -- which sounds like there's a nationalization of medicine going on here -- but in six or seven states, more money is spent on adults than children. In other words, these states have taken that money and hadn't used it for its initial purpose. So I vetoed the bill. The House is going to decide whether or not they're going to sustain my veto, and if they choose to sustain my veto, I call upon the leadership in the Congress to come to the table and let us make sure we get money to those families that are -- that the program was intended to help, first and foremost. (Applause.)

Now,we have listed the links to the statistical data and the facts about this most recent badly written SCHIP bill, facts that the numbers and data back up and cannot be disputed. Facts that everybody that has been trying to get this version of the bill passed keeps avoiding and trying to distract from and at the same link (below) is the phone numbers of the members of Congress that need to be called today and tomorrow to tell them to uphold the presidents veto until the bill is written in a way to insure low income children instead of adults and people that can afford private insurance but chooses not to.

Facts and links about SCHIP and phone numbers can be found here.