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Bush vetoes embryonic stem-cell bill; House fails to override vetocomment (0)

July 27, 2006

The House of Representatives failed July 19 to overturn President George W. Bush’s veto earlier in the day of legislation that would have funded stem-cell research that destroys human embryos.

The House voted 235–193 for the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act, leaving it 51 votes short of the two-thirds majority required to override a presidential veto. The vote total was nearly the same as that recorded when the House voted 238–194 for passage of the bill, H.R. 810, in May 2005.

The override effort came less than five hours after Bush announced in a White House ceremony he had vetoed the bill because it required the destruction of embryos. The veto, the first of Bush’s presidency, was not a surprise. He had threatened to reject a measure that would have weakened his policy barring federal grants for experiments that destroy human embryos. Bush’s rule allows funds for research only on embryonic stem-cell lines already in existence when his policy was announced in August 2001.

“If this bill would have become law, American taxpayers would ... be compelled to fund the deliberate destruction of human embryos. And I’m not going to allow it,” Bush said in the July 19 ceremony. “Crossing the line would needlessly encourage a conflict between science and ethics that can only do damage to both and to our nation as a whole. If we’re to find the right ways to advance ethical medical research, we must also be willing, when necessary, to reject the wrong ways.” (BP)

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