Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Senate passes stem cell measure despite Bush veto threat

"The politics of dancing..."


Bush vetoes stem cell bill as promised

WASHINGTON - President Bush cast the first veto of his presidency Wednesday, saying legislation easing limits on federal funding for embryonic stem cell research "crosses a moral boundary."

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WASHINGTON (AFP) -President George W. Bush is expected to use his power of veto for the first time since he took office to stop the US Congress from expanding funding for stem cell research.

The president "believes strongly that for the purpose of research it's inappropriate for the federal government to finance something that many people consider murder," White House spokesman Tony Snow said before a controversial Senate vote on Tuesday.

The Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act would lift rules Bush set in 2001 that make federal funds available only for research on a small number of embryonic stem cell lines which existed at that time.

Government money was barred from supporting work on new lines derived from human embryos -- a restriction that opponents say hampers overall research. They say that some of the stem-cell lines approved under the 2001 legislation are unusable.

Stem cell research advocates say the technique shows promise for the treatment of degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's, and for diabetes.

Opponents say the destruction of human embryos is morally wrong.

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