Democrats Plan To Pass Long-Term Extension Of SCHIP

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State Children's Health Insurance Program

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has given congressionalnegotiators until the end of this week to reach an agreement onlegislation that would reauthorize and expand SCHIP, a House Democraticaide said Tuesday, CQ Today reports. If an agreementcannot be reached, Democrats will work to pass a long-term extension ofthe program that includes additional funds for states that are facingbudgetary shortfalls for their programs, according to the aide. Theextension would last until next fall.


Pelosi "is committed tofinding a solution, but if we cannot find one this week, we are done,"the aide said, adding, "We have walked the extra mile trying to find asolution."

House Republicans said that Democrats have yet togive an official reply to a proposal they submitted on Nov. 15. ARepublican leadership aide said, "Before the Democrats start talkingabout deadlines, they first should get back to House Republicans on theproposal given to them two-and-a-half weeks ago that puts low-incomechildren first, not middle-class adults and illegal immigrants."

Rep.Judy Biggert (R-Ill.) said that a group of House Republicans onWednesday will meet to discuss a proposal from Sens. Orrin Hatch(R-Utah) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa). "It looks pretty good," Biggertsaid. However, CQ Today reports that it is "not clear howmany of her colleagues agree or whether Democrats would support thechanges Grassley and Hatch have proposed" (Wayne, CQ Today, 12/4).

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