House Can't Override Bush's Veto Of Embryo Stem Cell Bill - News, Weather & Sports

House Can't Override Bush's Veto Of Embryo Stem Cell Bill

(WASHINGTON, July 19, 2006) -- The House failed to muster enough votes to override President Bush's veto of a bill to expand federally funded embryonic stem cell research.

Backers of the bill, approved by the House a year ago with a strong bipartisan margin, and the Senate on Tuesday, did not get the two-thirds vote necessary to override Bush's first in more than five years in the White House. 

Bush rejected the legislation that could have multiplied the federal money going into embryonic stem cell research, making an emotionally charged life-and-death issue the first veto of his presidency.

"This bill would support the taking of innocent human life in the hope of finding medical benefits for others," Bush said in announcing his veto. "It crosses a moral boundary that our decent society needs to respect."

A number of lawmakers expressed confidence the legislation would some day become law and some suggested Bush's stance could hurt Republicans in congressional elections this fall.

"Mr. President, we will not give up," said Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass. "We will continue this battle."

Bush was making good on a promise he made in 2001 to limit federally funded embryonic research to the stem cell lines that had been created by the time.

Supporters of more research were not expected to muster the two-thirds majorities needed in both houses of Congress to overturn the president's veto.

Bush's first veto, five and one-half years into his presidency, came in the Oval Office without any ceremony -- though he then announced it surrounded by families including cheerfully babbling toddlers. He added his signature to the bottom of a two-page message that was promptly hand-delivered to the House of Representatives, where the legislation began.

"If we are to find the right ways to advance ethical medical research, we must also be willing when necessary to reject the wrong ways," his message said. "For that reason, I must veto this bill."

Supporters of embryonic stem cell research have had powerfully moving proponents on their side, including the late "Superman" star Christopher Reeve and actor Michael J. Fox. Other proponents say the research could lead to cures for the diseases that threaten to kill them.

Bush did sign a bill expanding adult stem cell research.

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