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The Senate Gets Veto-proof

There's not a ton of good news coming out of Congress these days, so it's nice to see that the Senate passed a bipartisan SCHIP bill with a 68-31 majority--enough to override the promised White House veto. Most senators, in the end, weren't scared off by conservative rants about "socialized medicine" and Michael Moore. What a surprise.

So as it stands now, the Senate bill would cover 4 million low-income children who would otherwise go uninsured. The more generous House bill would cover even more kids, but doesn't have a veto-proof majority behind it, so presumably it'll have to get scaled back to garner more votes.

It's worth noting, though, that John Boehner seems to be surprisingly adept at keeping his caucus in line these days--note that only two Republicans defected to support the Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which should have been a fairly uncontroversial bill (it merely extended the period in which workers can file pay-discrimination claims). So, who knows? Maybe Boehner can persuade all those "moderate" Republicans that they shouldn't vote to insure poor kids, either.

--Bradford Plumer