Although he’s still unhappy with a children’s health insurance plan adopted by Congress, Cleveland Democratic Rep. Dennis Kucinich said today that he’s planning to vote to override President Bush’s veto of the bill “because I think that the president has to be held to an accounting.”
Dennis had voted for the original House version of the SCHIP renewal. He voted against the compromise bill because it removed coverage for legal immigrant children.
“What do you do when a child is sick?” Kucinich said. “Do you ask the child for their papers, for their documentation? What’s happening to America when we take that kind of approach?”
With Kucinich’s decision, the House leadership needs to find roughly 14 votes to override the veto from President Bush.
The magic number of votes Pelosi will need is a bit of a moving target at this point, depending on how many lawmakers are present for the vote. There are currently two open seats vacated by a death and a retirement, meaning if all 433 current members voted Democrats need 289 votes to win.
During the vote on final passage last week, the House voted 265-159 in favor of the legislation, with one “present” vote and eight lawmakers absent. At least two of those eight — GOP Reps. Jo Ann Davis (Va.) and Barbara Cubin (Wyo.) — have been ill and have not attended votes in quite a while, making it likely they won’t be on hand for the SCHIP override vote. That would lower the override threshold to 287 votes in favor, out of 431 total lawmakers voting.
Let’s hope they find those extra votes.