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FROM THIS EPISODE

Some of the Senate's most powerful conservatives want President Bush to approve expansion of the State Children's Health Insurance Program, but he says he'll veto it anyway.  We look at the pros and cons and compare the cost to funding war in Iraq and Afghanistan. Also, good news from Iraq, and the first day of the US Supreme Court's new session.


Children shout slogans after dropping off sacks of petitions calling on US President George W. Bush not to veto SCHIP, the State Children's Health Insurance Program. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

Producers:
Christian Bordal
Katie Cooper

Reporter's Notebook A Change of Direction for the Roberts Supreme Court? 7 MIN, 28 SEC

The US Supreme Court began a new session today. Despite rejecting two cases involving the separation of church and state, this year's agenda includes up plenty of opportunities for dramatizing divisions among the justices. Last year, the court took a sharp turn to the right when Justice Sandra O'Connor was replaced by Samuel Alito. Chief Justice John Roberts now presides over a court that can swing either way. Patricia Millett, who spent 11 years in the Justice Department, is a partner at a Washington law firm.

Guests:
Patricia Millett, Former official in the Justice Department

Main Topic The White House Confronts Congress over Domestic Spending 35 MIN, 25 SEC

Last Friday, President Bush told House Speaker Nancy Pelosi he still plans to veto expansion of the State Children's Health Insurance Program, despite overwhelming approval in Congress and the advice of a lot of conservative allies. Pelosi said she's praying that he'll change his mind, but Democrats are rubbing their hands over what they see as a political opportunity. So many Republican Senators face trouble next year that the upper house gave the bill a veto-proof majority. We hear the pros and cons of extending government coverage to four million uninsured kids for five years.  How does it compare to funding wars in Iraq and Afghanistan this year alone?

Guests:
Jonathan Weisman, New York Times (@jonathanweisman)
Merrill Matthews, Director of the Council for Affordable Health Insurance
Ron Pollack, Families USA (@FamiliesUSA)
Martin Kady, Politico (@mkady)
Greg Speeter, Executive Director of the National Priorities Project
Ron Brownstein, National Journal (@RonBrownstein)

Making News US Troops, Iraqi Civilian Deaths Fall Sharply 6 MIN, 7 SEC

Civilian deaths from violence dropped by 50% across Iraq last month with a comparable decline in those wounded. American casualties have also declined. Greg Jaffe reports from the Pentagon for the Wall Street Journal.

Guests:
Greg Jaffe, Washington Post (@GregJaffe)

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