WASHINGTON - House Speaker Nancy Pelosi today released the following statement calling on President Bush to support the efforts by Democrats to provide the states with the needed funds to cover the shortfalls for the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP):
"President Bush heard again this weekend from Democratic and Republican governors that unless Washington moves quickly to help states cover the $745 million shortfall in the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) soon, the health coverage of many children will be in jeopardy.
"Democrats in Congress understand the urgency and are committed to providing funding to the 14 states that do not have enough money to cover their current enrollment. That is why Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and I wrote to President Bush more than three weeks ago asking him to submit a spending proposal separate from his upcoming emergency supplemental appropriations request to cover shortfalls in funding for the children's health insurance program.
"While the President has given no indication that he will address this immediate need, I urge him to make the right choice and work with Democrats to fund this shortfall.
"The President's budget, which addresses funding after 2007, makes the wrong choice and could result in more children losing their health coverage over the next five years. Millions of low-income children who count on SCHIP are counting on Washington to get the job done. Democrats will lead the way and I hope the President will join us."