For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
October 14, 2007
Statement by Deputy Press Secretary Tony Fratto on Speaker Pelosi's Comment Regarding the President and SCHIP
It is unfortunate that Speaker Pelosi would rather launch false political attacks against the President than work with him to reauthorize the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) in a way that covers poor children first.
Speaker Pelosi's comment today that the President has "never talked about a compromise" on SCHIP is refuted by the President's statement made earlier this month and repeatedly since that he is "more than willing to work with members of both parties from both Houses." The President continued: "If they need a little more money in the bill to help us meet the objective of getting help for poor children, I'm more than willing to sit down with the leaders and find a way to do so."
However, it is encouraging that Speaker Pelosi has expressed a willingness to find common ground, especially after Senator Reid's comment that "you cannot wring another ounce of compromise out of this" and after Democrats in Congress shut out the Administration from negotiations over the original legislation.