Wednesday, July 19, 2006

AJC: Stem cell vote sets up Bush veto

From "Despite President Bush's promised veto, supporters of stem cell research Tuesday cheered a Senate vote in which 63 senators, including 19 Republicans, voted to expand research into embryonic stem cells, saying the overwhelming vote demonstrates momentum that will eventually lead to all-important federal support.

The Senate vote, with Georgia Republicans Johnny Isakson and Saxby Chambliss dissenting, puts both houses of Congress in support of reversing the strict federal limitations on embryonic stem cell research that Bush put in place five years ago.

Still, the vote fell four short of the two-thirds majority necessary to override Bush's first-ever veto, which could come as soon as today.

Though a veto would almost certainly doom the bill in the near term, supporters of embryonic stem cell research said the decisive vote by the Senate is a marker that will keep the issue alive in the public sphere.

'There are some issues you just can't get off the national agenda, and this is one,' said Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.). 'Stem cell research is going to happen. It'll happen quicker with the president's support, but all of us who are supporting this important research know that it is inevitable. It's just a question of when.'"


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