President Bush’s promise to veto the bill, House Democrats approved a broad expansion of the popular SCHIP program that would offer healthcare coverage to millions more poor children. The Senate version appears likely to pass, which would force Bush to make good on his vow and in the process deny poor children fiscally responsible healthcare.


A bipartisan measure to add 3 million lower-income children to a popular health insurance program headed for a final Senate vote after a much broader and more expensive version passed the House over stiff Republican opposition.

Both measures face a veto threat from President Bush, who says they would cost too much and expand the decade-old program beyond its original mission, inappropriately moving toward government-run health care.

Senate Democrats were eager to pass a $35-billion expansion of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, perhaps as early as Thursday, before leaving town this week for a monthlong summer recess. The program expires Sept. 30.

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