PORTLAND, Ore. — Oregon House Speaker Jeff Merkley, Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate, released the following statement Wednesday in response to President Bush’s veto of H.R. 976, the Children’s Health Insurance Program:
“President Bush had an opportunity to stand up for 10 million uninsured children in this country. Instead, today he chose to put the big special interests first. That’s wrong and Oregonians won’t stand for it.
“Expanding CHIP would move America forward. It would guarantee that low-income kids get the preventive care they need to grow up healthy. And it would begin to address the problems of a broken health care system built on making profit and denying claims. With his swipe of the veto pen, President Bush has shown the American people that he fundamentally does not understand the health care crisis our country is facing.
“I continue to be amazed at just how disconnected from reality President Bush actually is. The fact that he believes covering more kids will move health care in the wrong direction is tragic.
“An overwhelming majority in Congress backed this plan to renew and expand CHIP, and I hope Democrats and Republicans will work together to override this veto.”