(CBS/AP) Spoiling for a veto fight, Congress cleared legislation Thursday easing restrictions on federal funding for embryonic stem cell research.
The House vote to send the measure to President Bush was 247-176, short of the level needed to override a second veto in as many years on the issue.
Within minutes of the bill’s passage, Mr. Bush renewed his threat to veto it. In a written statement, he said it puts scientific research and ethical principle into conflict, CBS News White House correspondent Mark Knoller reports.
“For many, embryonic stem cell research is the most promising source of potential treatments and cures” for debilitating disease, said Rep. Diana DeGette, D-Colo., the bill’s leading advocate.
“Unfortunately, because of the stubbornness of one man — President Bush — these people continue to suffer as they wait,” she added.
Critics of the legislation said the research requires the destruction of human embryos, and that alternatives have shown more promise.
“You’re talking about spare embryos now but if it ever did work … it would require the killing of millions of embryos,” said Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J.
He also said a recent report by the U.S. Catholic Conference listed numerous breakthroughs involving research conducted on adult stem cells, cord blood and amniotic fluid, none of which involve the destruction of a human embryo.
Public opinion polls show widespread support for stem cell research, which supporters say could lead to treatment of diseases as diverse as Alzheimer’s and juvenile diabetes. Democrats made the measure one of their top priorities when they took control of Congress in January — knowing full well that Mr. Bush stood ready to veto it.
Note how the article leaves off the word “embryonic” in the headline and in the above paragraph. Sometimes they use it, and sometimes they don’t. But I’m sure there’s no willing intent on the part of the MSM to deceive anyone on this issue …