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.