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Senate Passes SCHIP

The U.S. Senate voted 66-32 on Friday to approve a bill that would renew and expand the controversial State Children's Health Insurance Program, or SCHIP.

The Senate version of the bill raises the cap on the cigar tax from 40 cents to 40.26 cents per cigar. Since the House and Senate versions of the bill differ on this detail, the final cap will need to be worked out before the president can sign the bill.

It was feared throughout the cigar industry that the cap would be much higher. The original version called for a $10 cap, and earlier versions had a cap of $3 per cigar. The tax is currently capped at five cents.

The bill will now be sent to the House for final clearance.

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