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Congress: SCHIP passes Senate

CONGRESS: SCHIP passes Senate
The Washington Post: "The Senate overwhelmingly approved legislation yesterday to provide health insurance to 11 million low-income children, a bill that would for the first time spend federal money to cover children and pregnant women who are legal immigrants. Lawmakers voted 66 to 32, largely along party lines, to renew the joint state-federal program and spend an additional $32.8 billion to expand coverage to 4 million more children. The expansion would be paid for by raising the cigarette tax from 39 cents a pack to $1."

"The House approved similar legislation on Jan. 14, and President Obama is expected to sign a final version as early as next week."

After the Huffington Post reported that reform groups are asking Congress to investigate whether TARP recipients are using the bailout money to fund political campaigns, the group Change Congress -- which is calling for a strike among political donors until congressional campaign-finance laws are changed -- announced that it has now withheld $550,000 in contributions from politicians.