White House strategists are pleased that their Republican allies are sticking with the president on some key issues. For the second time since October, Bush last week vetoed a bill to expand the popular schip children's health insurance program, arguing that the measure cost too much, would have required tax hikes, and would have allowed adults to participate in a program designed for needy children. And, once again, the Democrats lack enough votes to override him.
Democratic congressional leaders argue that Bush is denying help for struggling families and is on the wrong side of public opinion. But, without the power to override, they have signaled that they won't try to expand the program in the near future, only extend it, basically in its current form. This would be the status quo yet still a victory for Bush.