Rockefeller mystified, angry over CHIP opposition

W.Va. Senator says he’s “beginning to think” about using budget power to end Iraq War  

By Scott Finn



The U.S. Senate is expected to vote today on a bill that would re-authorize and expand the Children’s Health Insurance Program, or CHIP. The bill has already passed the House of Representatives, with the support of most Democrats and several Republicans, including West Virginia’s only Republican in Congress, Representative Shelley Moore Capito.


About twenty-five thousand children in West Virginia receive health coverage through CHIP, and another four to five thousand could receive coverage if the bill becomes law.

But President Bush is threatening to veto the legislation. He says it is too expensive and an unnecessary expansion of government. The cost is thirty-five billion dollars, paid for by an increase in taxes on cigarettes and other tobacco products.

One of the original architects of the CHIP program is Senator Jay Rockefeller. He says he’s mystified and a little angry over the opposition to the CHIP bill.

Rockefeller also is weighing in on comments by West Virginia’s other senator, Robert Byrd, about the Iraq way. Byrd says its time to use Congress’s budget power to end the Iraq war – and Rockefeller says that Byrd might be right.

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