U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, predicting voters will see through Democrats' bid to turn health coverage for working-poor children into a "political football," on Tuesday defended his August and September votes against a proposed expansion of the Children's Health Insurance Program.
Mr. Cornyn said the legislation went too far, cost too much and would place some children who have private insurance onto government rolls.
"There is a question of fiscal responsibility and of how much we want to grow the size of the federal role when it comes to health care," Mr. Cornyn said after visiting a privately run call center for social program signups in Austin.
Mr. Cornyn, a Republican, faces re-election next year. Two Democrats who want to unseat him criticized his call center tour and photo-op, which they said were designed to conceal mean-spirited votes.
"He can use all the semantics and misdirection he wants. At the end of the day, he had an opportunity to vote for working families' children and he chose not to," said state Rep. Rick Noriega, D-Houston.
Mr. Cornyn opposed the bill, though Texas' other GOP senator, Kay Bailey Hutchison, backed it.