Bush Uses His First Veto on Stem Cell Bill
Override Vote Fails in the House; Measure Now Dead
Emotional debate in Congress did not change President Bush's position against embryonic stem cell research.
Michael J. Fox Letter to Bush:
'Urge You to Sign'
WASHINGTON (July 19) -- The House failed Wednesday to override President Bush's veto of a bill to lift his restrictions on federal funding for embryonic stem cell research. That means the veto stands, killing the measure.
The vote was 235-193 to override, 51 votes short of the two-thirds majority required to send the question to the Senate.
Bush cast the first veto of his 5 1/2-year presidency Wednesday, saying legislation easing limits on federal funding for embryonic stem cell research "crosses a moral boundary" and is wrong.
"This bill would support the taking of innocent human life of the hope of finding medical benefits for others," Bush said at a White House event where he was surrounded by 18 families who "adopted" frozen embryos not used by other couples, and then used those leftover embryos to have children.
"Each of these children was still adopted while still an embryo and has been blessed with a chance to grow, to grow up in a loving family. These boys and girls are not spare parts," he said.
The veto came a day after the Senate defied Bush and approved the legislation, 63-37, four votes short of the two-thirds margin needed to override.
Bush has supported federally funded research on only those stem cell lines created before Aug. 9, 2001, the date of his speech to the nation on the subject.
The president vetoed the measure shortly after it came to his desk. His position was politically popular among conservative Republicans, and it was sure to be an issue in the midterm congressional elections.
Announcing the veto, Bush was surrounded in the East Room by so-called "snowflake" families, those with children born through embryo donation.
"They remind us of what is lost when embryos are destroyed in the name of research. The remind us that we all begin our lives as a small collection of cells. And they remind us that in our zeal for new treatments and cures, America must never abandon our fundamental morals," Bush said.
He said the bill would have crossed a line and "once crossed, we would find it impossible to turn back."
At the same time, Bush announced he had signed another bill, passed unanimously in the House and Senate, that would pre-emptively ban "fetal farming," the prospect of raising and aborting fetuses for scientific research.
Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., was quick to criticize the president's veto.
"I am pro-life, but I disagree with the president's decision to veto the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act," said Frist. "Given the potential of this research and the limitations of the existing lines eligible for federally funded research, I think additional lines should be made available."
Said Bush: "As science brings us every closer to unlocking the secrets of human biology, it also offers temptations to manipulate human life and violate human dignity. Our conscience in history as a nation demand that we resist this temptation.
"America was founded on the principle that we are all created equal and endowed by our creator with the right to life," he added. "We can advance the cause of science while upholding this founding promise. We can harness the promise of technology without becoming slaves to technology. And we can ensure that science serves the cause of humanity, instead of the other way around."
i feel really bad for michael j fox and others like him.i grew up watching family ties and loved most of his movies.hang in there is all i can say for him.........
bush uses his first veto on stem cell bill
Published: July 20, 2006, 12:32 am