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Lawmakers Still Working Toward SCHIP Insurance Compromise

Armen Hareyan's picture

State Children's Health Insurance Program

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House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) and Senate Finance CommitteeChair Max Baucus (D-Mont.) have announced a Wednesday deadline to reachan agreement on revisions to a bill to reauthorize and expand SCHIP, CongressDaily reports. A group of House Republicans on Tuesday met with Baucus, Hoyer, House Energy and Commerce CommitteeChair John Dingell (D-Mich.) and other Finance Committee members todetermine if a compromise on the bill can be reached (Johnson, CongressDaily,11/7). House Republicans participating in the meetings included Reps.Judy Biggert (Ill.), Michael Burgess (Texas), Nathan Deal (Ga.), JeffFortenberry (Neb.) and Rodney Frelinghuysen (N.J.) (Babington, AP/Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 11/7).

Biggertsaid that as of press time, lawmakers were close to reaching acompromise. Proof-of-citizenship requirements have been the mostcontentious provision. The requirements are a "key factor in gettingthe requisite Republican support" but "also the main ... factor drivingHispanic lawmakers' worries," according to CongressDaily.In addition, Republicans attending the meetings are "gun-shy aboutcommitting their support, in part because they would be bucking theirleadership and the president," CongressDaily reports.

SenateFinance Committee ranking member Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) on Tuesdaysaid he is unsure whether the discussions will lead to a compromise."All I can tell you is, every signal I've had from the House is thatthey'd like to get an agreement soon, but I don't know whether we can,"Grassley said. Hoyer said, "We want to work very seriously with ourRepublican colleagues to get them comfortable with a vote that may beto override the president" (CongressDaily, 11/7).

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