Return of the Stem Cells
As most people already know, stem cell legislation is back. The first time this bill was sent to the Whitehouse, Bush used the first veto of his presidency. That was in September of 2006. Now, less than a year later, Bush may have to do it again!
The bill didn't have a veto proof majority, but an article in USA Today points out just how out of the mainstream the Bush policy really is:
Nearly two-thirds of the American public supports stem cell research, according to a CBS News poll in January. Six of the nine members of Congress running for president voted this year to lift the restrictions, including Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., in yesterday's vote.
In recent weeks, Bush's appointee to head the National Institutes of Health spoke against the president's position, saying the federal stem cell policy is no longer working. "It is in the best interest of our scientists, our science and our country that we find ways, that the nation finds a way to go full speed across adult and embryonic stem cells equally," Elias Zerhouni said at a Senate hearing March 19. "It's not possible for me to see how we can continue the momentum of science and research with the stem cell lines we have at NIH that can be funded."
Given all that, Democrats entered a floor debate over the past two days relishing the chance to paint Bush as badly out-of-step with both science and public opinion, while Republicans who support embryonic stem cell research were placed in the uncomfortable position of having to criticize their party's leader.
Sean Braisted points out that Tennessee's delegation split on the issue. Lamar Alexander supports the measure, but freshman senator Bob Corker voted against it.
Perhaps Bob Corker is a right wing nut afterall... and here I was thinking it was all an act.