Health. House Energy and Commerce ranking member Joe Barton said today that President Bush will be unable to sustain a veto of a bill placing a moratorium on seven Medicaid regulations. “His veto would be overridden and I would vote to override the veto,” Barton said. Last week, Barton signed off on a compromise bill that narrowed the scope of the original proposal. HHS Secretary Leavitt sent a letter Tuesday to Barton and Energy and Commerce Chairman John Dingell warning that administration advisers would recommend a veto if the bill reaches the White House. “Their view is the regulations save money, and we need to go ahead and do it,” Barton said. “The problem is very few people support the regulations … Members of the House are elected every two years, and the president is about to be a private citizen. We like to be re-elected.” Barton said he philosophically agrees with the administration, but added: “I don’t think ranking members continue to be looked on favorably when they lead their troops on a suicide mission.” The committee is marking up the bill today.
This article appears in the April 19, 2008, edition of National Journal Daily PM Update.