President Bush will make a critical decision in coming days over the fate of the controversial State Children’s Health Insurance Program bill. The Senate approved the $35 billion expansion of the children’s healthcare bill late last week following the the bill’s passage by the House. The next stop for the legislation is the desk of the president, who has already promised a veto.

The bill would expand the children’s health insurance program to $60 billion over the next five years. The president has proposed a $5 billion increase.

Accompanying the 67-29 approval vote in the Senate were impassioned speeches by a few of the 18 Republican senators who supported the measure. They asked the president to reconsider his veto threat. Both the House and Senate would need a two-thirds majority to override a veto. Opponents of the bill claim it could lead to socialized medicine in the United States.