"By vetoing SCHIP today, President Bush denied nearly four million American children the health care that was within their grasp.

 "This bill had bi-partisan support and common sense appeal. It expanded a highly successful program to include the children of middle class families that can't afford care. It reaffirmed that all children deserve a healthy start in life, and that no family should have to worry about whether they can afford to take their child to the doctor when they're sick. This President has long shown that he is out of step with middle class families, but today he used his veto pen to prove it.

"This bill was far too important to use as a political tool or an ideological statement. However, that didn't stop President Bush from using it to make a desperate appeal to his dwindling base.

"In Washington state, thousands of children that would have been added to the rolls of the insured now remain unable to see a doctor. And thousands of parents that would have been given peace of mind now remain one bike accident away from bankruptcy.

 "This veto represents a moral failure by the President and a major setback in our state's goal of insuring all of our children. I urge all members of Congress, on behalf of the 73,000 uninsured children in Washington state and the more than 8 million uninsured children nationally, to join me in voting to override the President's veto."