Bush Criticizes Democrats Over Kids' Program

WHITE HOUSE -- President Bush is calling Democrats "irresponsible" for trying to tack $35 billion onto a children's health insurance program.

He says lawmakers are risking health coverage for poor children to make political points on a plan "they know will be vetoed."

The proposed expansion over five years was announced Sunday. It would be financed by raising the federal cigarette tax to a $1 a pack.

In his weekly radio address, Bush condemned the plan for being too costly and for extending government coverage to children whose families can afford private coverage.

He's asking Congress to pass a simple extension of the current program while debate continues, saying it's children who will suffer if they don't.

The program expires at the end of the month.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)