Clinton Promises To Expand Federal Aid To Local Governments For Health Care, Development

Tuesday, July 17th 2007, 4:00 pm
By: News On 6

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton on Tuesday said the Bush administration had broken historic partnerships between local governments and the federal government and promised to support a range of federal aid to localities.

The former first lady promised about 2,500 elected county officials attending the National Association of Counties annual convention that she and a Democratic Congress would expand the child health insurance program to cover 9 million uninsured children if she wins next year's election.

Clinton said county governments have coped with 45 million Americans who have no health coverage and that those Americans have been ``invisible to the president for the last 6 1/2 years.''

``We're ready to make a change in Washington, D.C., so they will no longer be invisible to the president of the United States,'' Clinton said in a pointed attack on the Bush White House.

She accused Bush of threatening year after year to veto funding for the child health insurance program and urged support for a bipartisan package in Congress that would provide more health coverage to uninsured children.

Clinton said it was time to begin spending money going to Iraq on a number of problems counties confront daily, including tax cuts, concerns about the safety of imported food and rural business development. She also called for expanding federal community development block grants that local governments have broad discretion in using.

``I, for the life of me, don't understand this. We have a president who vetoed bringing our troops home, threatens to veto more health care for our children. How about reversing our priorities. Let's stop sending troops to Iraq and let's start insuring every single child,'' she said to a standing ovation.