At my request, Marshall's press secretary emailed us this statement from Marshall:
(Washington, DC) – Earlier today, the House voted to extend SCHIP’s authorization until the debate over the program’s expansion is resolved. There’s no question that I support expanding SCHIP. But I also have an obligation to the citizens of Middle Georgia to do everything possible to make sure that the program in its final form fairly distributes the burden and fairly distributes the benefits. Expanding SCHIP is among my highest priorities – and it should be among everyone’s highest priorities – but it’s also critically important that Congress and the President get this right.
That's a little short on details. I know there were some in Congress concerned about what sort of access illegal immigrants would have had under the expanded program, as well as the cigarette tax increase that would have funded it, and I believe Marshall to be one of them.
Anything that might be good for illegal immigrants isn't too popular in Middle Georgia, and neither are tax increases.
I'll add that Pres. Bush was going to veto this expansion anyway. I'd also bet dollars to donuts that Marshall votes for the final compromise bill, but we'll see.
But the level of hurt that comes through on some of the criticisms I've read of Marshall today is really palpable. Is it possible that Marshall, who spends so much time convincing people he's conservative enough for the 8th District, could have a problem pulling voters from his own party?
By the way, with the expansion stalled while a compromise is worked out, the House did indeed approve an extension of SCHIP as is as part of a larger funding bill.
PROMOTED FROM THE COMMENTS: This is my buddy Nick, who has a pretty level head for a liberal. It made me laugh out loud, though his anger over this is apparent:
A little short on details? You are being nice there Travis. This vote is ridiculous! I have no idea what he is talking about saying the interest of the citizens. The citizens are all for this! Orin Hatch is for this come on! This is not a radical vote it’s pretty simple either you support health insurance for poor children or you don't and Marshall obviously doesn't. Mark my words he will regret this vote. Because of the political position he is in, he has gotten a pass on some things, but with this what is the point in having him in office. I am trying to think on the major issues of the day how is he different (except for having a brain) than Mac Collins?