In a move that surprised no one, President Bush used the first veto of his presidency on 19 July to kill HR 810, legislation that would have permitted federal funding for embryonic stem cell research.

The bill "crosses a moral boundary that our decent society needs to respect. So I vetoed it," Bush said.

Five years ago, the President announced a policy to allow funding for research on embryonic stem cell lines that had already been created. But the number of viable lines turned out to be drastically lower than the 64 Bush had originally cited. Patient advocacy groups and others have been pushing hard for federal funding since.

A number of Republicans joined Democrats in supporting the legislation. The Senate passed the bill on 18 July by a vote of 63 to 37. The House, which passed the original bill 238-194, failed to achieve the 2/3 majority required to override the President's veto.

 


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