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Update: Bush Vetos Stem-Cell Bill


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MSNBC.com-

 

WASHINGTON - The Senate voted Tuesday after two days of emotional debate to expand federal funding of embryonic stem cell research, sending the measure to President Bush for a promised veto that would be the first of his presidency.

 

The bill passed 63-37, four votes short of the two-thirds majority that would be needed to override Bush's veto. The president left little doubt he would reject the bill despite late appeals on its behalf from fellow Republicans Nancy Reagan and Arnold Schwarzenegger.

 

"The simple answer is he thinks murder's wrong," said White House spokesman Tony Snow. "The president is not going to get on the slippery slope of taking something living and making it dead for the purposes of scientific research."

 

Senate supporters of the bill likened that logic to opposition suffered by Galileo, Christopher Columbus and others who were rebuked in their time but vindicated later.

 

Polls show as much as 70 percent public support for embryonic stem cell research.

 

"There has been an upsurge of demand," said Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y. Support for the legislation "has crossed every line we could imagine, certainly partisan lines, ethnic, racial, geographic lines."

 

The Senate also passed two related measures ? 100-0 in each case ? that Bush was expected to sign into law.

 

One would encourage stem cell research using cells from sources other than embryos in an effort to cure diseases and treat injuries. The other would ban "fetal farming," the possibility of growing and aborting fetuses for research.

 

Those two bills were headed for a House vote later Tuesday. Bush was expected to sign them when he vetoes the embryonic stem cell research bill, as early as Wednesday.

 

Nineteen Republicans voted for the bill, while one Democrat, Sen. Ben Nelson of Nebraska, voted against it.

 

It was the first time Bush was wielding the veto pen against legislation passed by the Republican-controlled Congress. Snow said the president had issued 141 veto threats during his five and a half years in the White House, often against spending increases for domestic programs. This was the first time no deal could be cut, Snow said.

 

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger wrote to Bush, "Mr. President, I urge you not to make the first veto of your presidency one that turns America backwards on the path of scientific progress and limits the promise of medical miracles for generations to come."

 

Nancy Reagan, the former first lady whose husband died after suffering from Alzheimer's disease, had quietly made calls to a few senators to try to build support toward a veto-proof margin in the Senate. In a statement following the vote, she did not refer directly to the likelihood of a Bush veto.

 

"With this important vote in favor of embryonic stem cell research (H.R. 810), the pleas of so many suffering families have finally been heard," she said. "Time is short, and life is precious, and I hope this promising research can now move forward."

 

The White House and Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist worked for what they considered the next closest thing: stem cell-related bills Bush could sign.

 

Enactment of the bill to encourage research on adult stem cells enables Bush and other opponents of embryonic stem cell studies to say they, nonetheless, support stem cell science.

 

"The president is not opposed to stem cell research, he's all for it," Snow said.

 

Embryonic stem cells are essentially master cells, able to morph into all the cell types found in the body. If scientists could learn to control these cells and coax them into becoming specific types on demand, they could grow replacements for damaged tissue. The idea is to use this process ? still theoretical ? to cure or treat a raft of diseases and injuries, from diabetes to Alzheimer's and spinal cord damage.

 

Opponents of federal funding for embryonic stem cell research say studies on cells derived from adults and umbilical cords is more advanced, less controversial and more deserving of federal funding.

 

How fast the science for both types of stem cell research proceeds depends on how much money the federal government is willing to spend, and for which kind. Supporters of the embryonic stem cell bill say the engine of public funding would greatly accelerate cures and treatments.

 

The House last year fell 50 votes short of a veto-proof margin when it passed the same embryonic stem cell bill, 238-194. Fifty Republicans voted for the bill, in defiance of Bush and many of their party leaders.

 

Republican leaders in the House planned an override vote as early as Wednesday evening, confident that Bush's veto of the embryonic stem cell bill would be sustained.

 

Actress Mary Tyler Moore appeared with Frist during the day, saying she was very disappointed by Bush's stance.

 

"This is an intelligent human being with a heart, and I don't see how much longer he can deny those aspects of himself," she said.

 

Is it just me, or is the President always the one who goes against the American public's thinking? He did it earlier this year by supporting the Dubai Ports World company when the vast majority of the country did not. Now, when we have a chance to catch up to Japan and China in the stem-cell research department, he has opted to throw that away. Again, he is going against public support.

 

This can only help Democrats, and Republicans up for re-election that do not support the President in the mid-term elections this fall.

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It's also a way for Bush to rally the religious right around election time and make sure they get out and vote, assuming he does decide to veto this and the party/individual socially conservative Republicans make it a major campaign issue.

 

Except that regular Republicans, which are a bigger group than the religious right, will probably vote against him or just not show up at all.

 

He may finally see the consequence of supporting a small, radical group in politics and ignoring the majority. 10-20 percent is not going to win you elections.

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Yes but that's assumming those who support stem-cell research are as fervent about supporting it as the religious right is about opposing it.

 

I don't doubt that there is a strong majority in favor of stem cell research - I just don't know that those in favor support it as strongly as the religious right opposses it nor am I sure the numbers of those supporting the research to the degree the religious right opposes it are equal. As such, I'm don't know if it will be as key of an issue in determining the way one votes/getting people out to the polls for those in favor as it is for those against.

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It's also a way for Bush to rally the religious right around election time and make sure they get out and vote, assuming he does decide to veto this and the party/individual socially conservative Republicans make it a major campaign issue.

 

 

So it doesn't matter whats good for the country, as long as he can get a few moral values voters. thats sick.

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It's also a way for Bush to rally the religious right around election time and make sure they get out and vote, assuming he does decide to veto this and the party/individual socially conservative Republicans make it a major campaign issue.

 

 

So it doesn't matter whats good for the country, as long as he can get a few moral values voters. thats sick.

 

I agree, the fact that any candidate has to appeal to a bunch of idiots for votes doesn't sit right with me. But, it's the way this country works. I guess I just wish there weren't so many idiots more than anything else, but that's a unavailing enterprise.

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There have been many Presidents who get elected by following the middle-of-the-road, because he gets those undecided voters and the majority of people in this country to vote for him. The reality is, the average person is a moderate when it comes to politics.

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It's also a way for Bush to rally the religious right around election time and make sure they get out and vote, assuming he does decide to veto this and the party/individual socially conservative Republicans make it a major campaign issue.

 

 

So it doesn't matter whats good for the country, as long as he can get a few moral values voters. thats sick.

I don't think that's it - it seems he honestly is against this stem-cell research because of moral reasons. I don't agree with his position, but I also don't think he's doing this purely for political gain.

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It's also a way for Bush to rally the religious right around election time and make sure they get out and vote, assuming he does decide to veto this and the party/individual socially conservative Republicans make it a major campaign issue.

 

 

So it doesn't matter whats good for the country, as long as he can get a few moral values voters. thats sick.

I don't think that's it - it seems he honestly is against this stem-cell research because of moral reasons. I don't agree with his position, but I also don't think he's doing this purely for political gain.

 

And thats exactly it, theres no way of knowing his true intentions, his opponents and cynics will paint it as political gain, his supporters as his own moral choice and what he feels is best for the country. I think its the latter b/c he isnt getting much political gain from this type of move.

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MSNBC.com-

 

WASHINGTON - President Bush cast the first veto of his presidency Wednesday, saying legislation easing limits on federal funding for embryonic stem cell research "crosses a moral boundary."

 

"This bill would support the taking of innocent human life in 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. White House officials and Republican congressional leaders claimed it was unlikely that Congress could override the veto.

 

Bush's support was the strongest in the House, which was expected to take up the veto as early as later Wednesday.

 

"We will go back and sustain his veto this afternoon," veto supporter Rep. Joe Pitts, R-Pa., told reporters at the White House after the event. "We had 52 votes to spare when it passed and I predict the House will sustain that veto."

 

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.

 

Moments after Bush spoke, the vetoed legislation was returned to Congress.

 

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."

 

Pleadings from celebrities, a former first lady and fellow Republicans had failed to move Bush. He acted after two days of often wrenching emotional debate in Congress, punctuated by stories of personal and family suffering, that had cast lawmakers into the intersection of politics, morality and science.

 

Strong majorities in the House and Senate joined sentiments with most Americans in passing the bill, which would have lifted restriction currently limiting federally funded research to stem cell lines created before Aug. 9, 2001.

 

"I expect that the House will sustain the president's veto," said House Majority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, said in advance of Bush's action.

 

Disappointed lawmakers said they intended to keep pushing to lift the restrictions.

 

Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah said in advance that the veto "sets back embryonic stem cell research another year or so."

 

The Senate voted 63-37 on Tuesday, four votes short of the two-thirds majority that would be needed to override a veto. The House last year fell 50 votes short of a veto-proof margin when it passed the same bill, 238-194.

 

Bush had made 141 veto threats during his time in office, and the Republicans controlling Congress typically respond by changing bills to his liking.

 

Bush's stand against embryonic stem cell research is popular among conservative Republicans whom the party will rely on in the congressional elections this fall. Many of those opponents are the same voters who have felt alienated by Bush's actions to increase legal immigration, and the veto could bring them back into the fold.

 

Although many in the religious right are passionately opposed to embryonic stem cell research, most Americans support it, and Bush risks alienating that majority in the critical midterm year.

 

:banghead

 

Idiot.

 

I'm sorry, but the potential of this kind of research is FAR too great to just ignore.

 

In addition, this continues the fall of Americans in global medical research. Asia is flying by us at this point.

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Guys, this is the first time I've seen a politician go against a 70% majority and STILL be accused of doing something for political gain. Come on, people. Obviously, if he had gone with the 70% in favor, the 10-20% against would accuse him of doing it for political gain. It is apparently no longer possible for anyone to do anything for any reason other than political votes.

 

Look, I hate this president, and I double hate this decision, but let's give him the benefit of the doubt that he at least opposed it on account of his deeply held moral beliefs, even if I don't believe that's a proper justification for any presidential decision.

 

Someone who can only judge issues based on their own narrowly-held beliefs is not fit to be President. Not only is this decision completely impractical, but the morality is dubious as well.

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Someone who can only judge issues based on their own narrowly-held beliefs is not fit to be President.

 

.. and that's the truth, unless you want to be living under Sharia Law or some other crap.

 

The "god will judge me" attitude to policy decisions is a slap in the face to the populace who are supposed to be being represented here and also the political and cultural advancement of the country and the world in general. The weren't called the 'Dark Ages' for nothing... Of course, it's also the rational of the suicide bomber..

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Guys, this is the first time I've seen a politician go against a 70% majority and STILL be accused of doing something for political gain. Come on, people. Obviously, if he had gone with the 70% in favor, the 10-20% against would accuse him of doing it for political gain. It is apparently no longer possible for anyone to do anything for any reason other than political votes.

 

Look, I hate this president, and I double hate this decision, but let's give him the benefit of the doubt that he at least opposed it on account of his deeply held moral beliefs, even if I don't believe that's a proper justification for any presidential decision.

 

Someone who can only judge issues based on their own narrowly-held beliefs is not fit to be President. Not only is this decision completely impractical, but the morality is dubious as well.

 

 

lol... Its a moral values thing, too keep the base or core 30% of republican values voters going to the polls, things like AntiFlag burning and gay rights ammerndments along with anti stemcell vetos are things that he will have done. Once those 30% are secured, the goal is to get the other 20% by calling for tax cuts, and bashing opposition of war stratagies and other related securities.

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This is stupid.

 

But Bush makes up for it in other areas and he was better than the other guy on the ballot :thumbup .

 

 

 

We know.

 

 

 

But Bush makes up for it in other areas and he was better than the other guy on the ballot :thumbup .

 

It's really hard for me to believe that Kerry could possibly have been worse.

 

 

We know.

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I dont think vetoing this bill was the right decision but i do think we are giving people a false hope that stem cells will solve everything because the testing that has been conducted in other countries hasnt produced much in the way of medical break throughs . That said why not try because the stem cells are going to be tossed anyways

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We need to be careful when looking at polls. We need to see who was polled, the ages of the ppl, the regions, and so forth.

 

If the 70% number is accurate then bush msot likely didnt do it for political gain.

However, of that sample group, how many of them will actually show up to polls at all, how many would show but wont vote for a repub anyway. All these things need to be taken into account when looking at figures

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I dont care of the 70% honestly as much as I care that this man has continually destroyed the enviroment, beat down the middle class of this country, helped distort the rich to poor ratio, destroy the future with the national debt, and continue time and again to put back research in this country in areas (from fuels to medical).

 

All I have to say is thank god this country doesnt have Kings and he is out of there soon. Perhaps we can get 8-12 years with the next couple of presidents to try to put this country back together again. Because humpty dumpty has fallen off of the wall.

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I dont care of the 70% honestly as much as I care that this man has continually destroyed the enviroment, beat down the middle class of this country, helped distort the rich to poor ratio, destroy the future with the national debt, and continue time and again to put back research in this country in areas (from fuels to medical).

 

All I have to say is thank god this country doesnt have Kings and he is out of there soon. Perhaps we can get 8-12 years with the next couple of presidents to try to put this country back together again. Because humpty dumpty has fallen off of the wall.

 

 

Beat down the middle class? Can I see some statistics along with an elebaoration

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Here's Tony Snow in a press briefing:

 

QUESTION: Can you remind us why the president believes that it is not appropriate to use ? that it would be more appropriate for stem cells to be thrown away than to be used in this case for medical research?

 

SNOW: I don?t think that?s the choice that the president is presented. What the president has said is that he doesn?t want human life destroyed.

 

Now, you may consider that insignificant. But the president has said. And you have had in a number of cases the snowflake babies where some of those fetuses have in fact been brought to term and have become human beings. The president believes strongly that for the purpose of research it?s inappropriate for the federal government to finance something that many people consider murder. He?s one of them.

 

Furthermore, it is worth pointing out that this government did make available already existing lines ? to get back to your question ? there were existing lines. The most recent figures we have are 2004. But 85 percent of all the embryonic stem cell research on Earth was conducted using those lines.

 

There is nothing that makes embryonic stem cell research illegal. It simply says that the federal government will not finance it.

 

As you know, there are ongoing efforts in some states, including, I think, California and Massachusetts, to use state money for it. And I dare say if people think that there?s a market for it, they?re going to support it handsomely.

 

The simple answer is he thinks murder?s wrong.

 

but it's okay to use the existing lines. and it's okay for private organizations to continue to perform embryonic stem cell research. so I guess murder's okay sometimes.

 

 

 

also Karl Rove stated recently that adult stem cells have shown "far more promise" than embryonic ones, but from what I've read there is no science on this whatsoever to back him up. Classic Karl Rove.

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