Which Way the Wind Blows: Stem Cell Bill Sails Through the House
Even if Bush vetoes the current bill, this vote proves that he will be unsuccessful in squashing stem cell research.
The vote, 253 to 174, was not enough to overturn a likely presidential veto of the measure, which would authorize federal support for research using stem cells derived from excess embryos that fertility clinics would otherwise discard.
The White House said Thursday that the president would veto the bill, just as he did last year. “The bill would compel all American taxpayers to pay for research that relies on the intentional destruction of human embryos,” the White House statement said.
It would take 290 House votes to override a veto.
But the vote fulfilled a Democratic promise from the November elections, when about a dozen winning House candidates and at least two winning Senate candidates campaigned heavily on the issue. And with 37 Republicans joining 216 Democrats to support the measure, Democrats said the vote also ensured that the issue would remain alive for the 2008 election.
“We can do this the easy way or the hard way,” said Representative Diana DeGette, a Colorado Democrat who was a sponsor of the bill.
“By January 2009, we will have a president who favors embryonic stem cell research,” Ms. DeGette added, noting that at the moment the leading presidential candidates in both parties support it.