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The Dems Magic Number On SCHIP

House Minority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.) put the magic number of Republicans needed to override President Bush's expected veto of a recently passed children's health care initiative at 15.

Clyburn said he expected four of the eight Democrats who voted against the measure last week to vote for it when it comes back to the floor for an override vote. Another Democrat who voted present will also vote for the override, Clyburn said Tuesday afternoon.

Republicans leaders told reporters earlier that morning that they were confident they would have the votes to sustain Bush's expected veto. "Republicans will sustain the veto," Minority Whip Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) said.

The biggest question now is when that vote will come back to the House. Democrats approved an extension of the popular state-run children's health care initiative last week, so the majority has time to pressure moderate Republicans to change their vote.

But some Republicans privately suggest Democrats want to keep the issue out there as long as possible because it has become a political winner for them in the absence of other prominent legislation.

Democratic leaders would not say exactly when they will bring an override vote to the House floor.