Several Jewish groups are working to override the veto of a child health-care measure.
Rabbi David Saperstein, director of the Religiious Action Center of Reform Judaism. on Monday added his voice to the Jewish outcry over President Bush’s veto of a bill that would provide $35 billion over the next five years to fund state health-care programs for children.
Saperstein sent a letter to members of Congress reminding them that the Jewish tradition teaches, “Do not neglect the children of the poor, for from them will go forth the Law” (Nedarim 81).
The Jewish Council for Public Affairs and the National Council of Jewish Women also have mobilized to pressure members of Congress to sign on to the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, or SCHIP, urging members to contact their members of Congress.
The bill passed the Senate by a veto-proof 67-29 vote, but fell short by 25 votes in the U.S. House of Representatives. Observers estimate that at least 14 new Republican members of Congress must sign on to the bill to override the veto.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is expected to spend the next two weeks working to build the support necessary to obtain those extra votes.