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DCCC Goes After Moderate Republicans On SCHIP

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is asking a handful of House Republicans whether they support President Bush's declaration Thursday to veto an expansion of the popular state children's health care program pending before both chambers.

The Democrats' campaign arm issued press releases targeting 29 mostly moderate Republicans Thursday afternoon, shortly after Bush promised to veto the legislation if it strays too far, in his mind, from the original intent of the program.

Democrats are trying to pressure some of those GOP members in the middle whose support for the eventual package may prove crucial to approving an expansion of the current program.

Democratic leaders in the House and Senate scrambled all week to cobble together a deal that members in both chambers could support. House Democrats appear to have backed off demands that the update include changes to the Medicare Advantage program for low-income seniors in exchange for a higher per-pack tax on cigarettes, but negotiations remain fluid.

In one release, targeting Virginia Rep. Thelma Drake, DCCC Communications Director Jennifer Crider says, “Representative Drake is blindly supporting President Bush and tobacco companies at the expense of children’s health care. Virginia's children deserve better.”

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