Lawmaker Seeks Mtg With President Bush on Embryonic Stem Cell Research

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jun 5, 2006   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Lawmaker Seeks Mtg With President Bush on Embryonic Stem Cell Research Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
June 5, 2006

Washington, DC ( — A leading House sponsor of a measure that would force taxpayers to fund destructive embryonic stem cell research wants to meet with President Bush to talk him out of potentially vetoing a bill that would overturn his limits on funding the unproven research.

The House approved the measure to spend federal funds on embryonic stem cell research in May 2005 but the Senate hasn’t voted yet.

A vote on the bill is likely this summer or early fall, but President Bush has said he will veto the measure because he doesn’t want to spend taxpayer funds on new research that involves the destruction of days-old unborn children.

If he vetoes the bill, the Senate may have enough votes to override it, but the House is far from the two-third majority needed to override.

Because of that, Rep. Diane DeGette, a Colorado Democrat, wants to meet with Bush to persuade him to sign the measure.

"All I request is that he sit down face to face with me and let me try to explain the impact this bill will have on the millions of people who suffer from these diseases," DeGette told the Denver Post newspaper.

However, Focus on the Family, a national pro-family group that opposes the measure, says it hopes the Senate will oppose the measure but is calling on Bush to stick with his veto threat.

"We’d prefer for the Senate to stop (the bill) there," Carrie Gordon Earll, Focus on the Family’s senior policy analyst for bioethics, told the Post.

"But if not, the president says he’ll veto it. That would be his first veto. That says a lot about how seriously he is defending his policy under his watch," Earll explained.

Pro-life groups oppose the bill because they don’t want public funds spent on research that involves the destruction of human life.

They also point out the fact that embryonic stem cell research has yet to cure any patients and is far from doing so. At the same time, the use of adult stem cells has already developed dozens of treatments and cures for various diseases and conditions.

The bill in question would overturn President Bush’s August 2001 executive order allowing stem cell research funding but preventing it for new embryonic stem cell research. Annually, the Bush administration has spent hundreds of millions of dollars on stem cell research.