by Steven Ertelt
June 7, 2007
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — With the House vote on the Senate-approved bill, the measure now heads to President Bush who has promised to veto it because it forces Americans to fund the destruction of human life to advance science. He said it crossed a moral line that shouldn’t be crossed by destroying human life in an attempt to improve it.
The White House released a statement on the president’s behalf following the vote and saying a veto would be forthcoming.
"This bill puts scientific research and ethical principle into conflict, rather than supporting a balanced approach that advances scientific and medical frontiers without violating moral principles," the president said.
"I am disappointed the leadership of Congress recycled an old bill that would simply overturn our country’s carefully balanced policy on embryonic stem cell research," Bush added.
"If this bill were to become law, American taxpayers would for the first time in our history be compelled to support the deliberate destruction of human embryos. Crossing that line would be a grave mistake. For that reason, I will veto the bill passed today.
Following his veto the Senate will be the first chamber to attempt to override it.
The Senate approved the bill with 63 votes, short of the two-thirds needed to override an expected veto. However, three senators who supported the bill were not present for the vote, including South Dakota Democrat Tim Johnson who was hospitalized at the time.
In addition, pro-life Sen. Craig Thomas of Wyoming recently passed away and his death will also alter the outcome and increase the odds that backers of the bill can get the two-thirds they need to override.
Backers of embryonic stem cell research, which has yet to cure a single patient, have been trying to persuade another member of the Senate to vote for the veto override and they focused their efforts on New Hampshire Republican Sen. John Sununu, who has voted against the bill.
They launched an attack on Sununu in a radio campaign in his state with ads he called “misleading” and “disgraceful" and an aide told Congressional Quarterly that he still plans to vote against the veto override.
Even if the Senate can get enough votes to override the veto, the House will likely be unable to do so. The House approved its own measure earlier this year on a 253-174 and the vote today was 35 short of the two-thirds necessary to override the veto.
Ironically advocates of embryonic stem cell research are looking forward to the president’s veto because they plan to use it to attack him further.
“I think we should get this to the president’s desk as soon as possible so he can become even more unpopular,” Dennis Cardoza, a California Democrat, said during a House Rules Committee, according to Congressional Quarterly.
If Congress is unable to override President Bush’s veto, it will be the second time President Bush has protected Americans from funding the destruction of human life.