Wednesday, May 25, 2005

House defies Bush on Stem Cell Research Money

50 Republicans defied the president yesterday and came across the isle to work with Democrats in passing a House bill that would ease restrictions on embryonic stem cell research. Bush has already said that he would veto it because it is "killing human beings." Supposedly, the culture of life means that killing innocent life to save life is evil... but then you have Iraq with hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians killed in order to "protect life." There, killing innocent life to save life is good. Does this mean he wouldn't veto a bill that used Arab embryos? I'm confused by his culture of life.

House Defies Bush on Stem Cells
50 Republicans Help Pass Bill to Repeal Restrictions on Federal Funding

By Mike Allen and Ceci Connolly
Washington Post Staff Writers
Wednesday, May 25, 2005; Page A01

Defying President Bush's threat to impose his first veto, a broad swath of House Republicans voted with an overwhelming number of Democrats yesterday to repeal his restrictions on federal funding for embryonic stem cell research and plunge the government deeper into the controversial science that supporters say could lead to cures for debilitating diseases.

The 238 to 194 vote, unusual because 50 Republicans broke with Bush and top House leaders, followed a highly personalized, occasionally tearful debate in which a parade of lawmakers recounted medical tragedies that had afflicted their families, while opponents contended that the science is built on destroying human lives.

The legislation, which has strong support in the Senate, would make federal money available for research on embryonic stem cells extracted from frozen embryos donated by couples who no longer need them for fertility treatments. It would lift a restriction imposed by Bush nearly four years ago that limits federally funded research to fewer than two dozen embryonic stem cell colonies, or lines.

The president and other opponents focused on the fact that the embryos are destroyed in obtaining the cells. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Tex.) called it a "vote to fund with taxpayer dollars the dismemberment of living, distinct human beings for the purposes of medical experimentation."

"The best that can be said about embryonic stem cell research is that it is scientific exploration into the potential benefits of killing human beings," said DeLay, who set up pro-adoption posters as a backdrop. DeLay, who had lowered his profile amid the storm over his travel and dealings with lobbyists, spent the afternoon on the House floor leading opposition to the bill.

The vote carried an echo of Monday's Senate deal that averted a showdown over Bush's judicial appointments, with moderate lawmakers working across the aisle to triumph over their party leaders. The stem cell bill, which was opposed by 14 Democrats, was sponsored by Rep. Michael N. Castle (Del.), president of the moderate Republican Main Street Partnership, and Rep. Diana DeGette (D-Colo.), who spent two years building a winning coalition. House leaders scheduled yesterday's vote so that the contentious issue would not be raised repeatedly as an amendment to other critical bills.

(Full Story)

H/T Richie

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