S-CHIP Non-Compromise

A slightly altered version of the S-CHIP passed the House this afternoon with exactly the same number of yes votes as the original S-CHIP legislation.  Randy Kuhl voted against the bill. 

I haven't studied the changes in the bill closely, but they don't sound like the product of a compromise, judging from this National Journal article.   A recent Kuhl blog post echoes the complaints of his leadership:  the vote was held without enough advance notice, and without California members who were back in their districts because of the recent fires.

It sounds like the House Democrats are taking some advice from Senator Chuck Grassley, an Iowa Republican who supported S-CHIP in the House:

Grassley has suggested that, were he a Democrat, he would send the SCHIP measure to Bush repeatedly until the president agreed to sign it.
From the media reports, it sounds like both sides in this debate have wedged themselves into intractable positions.  Republicans like Kuhl have taken a big hit for their opposition to S-CHIP, and they've responded with a lot of red-hot rhetoric about the bill.  They need some tangible changes in the bill to justify changing their votes.  Democrats see how well S-CHIP polls, and are under fire from their constituents for their failure to end the war in Iraq.  With 43 Republicans on their side, they've chosen S-CHIP as a bi-partisan effort to get a few more Republicans accustomed to voting against their party.   This is a recipe for stalemate, and it looks like we're going there sooner, rather than later.

And, by the way, both MoveOn and AFSCME are launching still more ads in the district to publicize Kuhl's  vote.