Wednesday, July 19, 2006

stem cell research enhancement act: vetoed

Recently, the Senate passed legislation that would enhance stem cell research by loosening restrictions on federal funding. The legislation passed in the U.S. House back in 2005 without help from several North Texas Republicans that voted against it: Rep. Michael Burgess (Flower Mound), Rep. Ralph Hall (Rockwall), Rep. Jeb Hensarling (Dallas), Rep. Sam Johnson (Plano), Rep. Kenny Marchant (Carrollton), and Rep. Pete Sessions (Dallas). Two North Texas Republicans supported stem cell research and are to be commended: Rep. Kay Granger (Fort Worth) and Rep. Joe Barton (Ennis).

How did the Democrats vote? Totally in favor of stem cell research. Texas Democrats stood in solidarity; not a single one voted against the legislation. If you're represented by a Texas Democrat, take a minute to write them a letter and thank them for supporting stem cell research.

Over in the Senate, our two Republican senators were split. Sen. John Cornyn voted against the stem cell research legislation, while Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison voted for it. Sen. Hutchison is to be commended for standing up and letting her vote be counted to help save lives. Unfortunately, Sen. Cornyn decided to cater to the religious right.

Regardless of how everyone voted, President Bush used the first veto of his presidency today to reject this legislation that was overwhelmingly passed by Congress.
"This bill would support the taking of innocent human life in the hope of finding medical benefits for others," Bush said Wednesday afternoon. "It crosses a moral boundary that our decent society needs to respect. So I vetoed it."

Attending the White House event were a group of families with children who were born from "adopted" frozen embryos that had been left unused at fertility clinics.

"These boys and girls are not spare parts," he said of the children in the audience. "They remind us of what is lost when embryos are destroyed in the name of research. They remind us that we all begin our lives as a small collection of cells."

Despite Bush's decision, the issue has divided much of the Republican Party. Only two Texas Republicans (North Texas Reps. Barton and Granger) strayed from Republican talking points to cast their vote in favor of the legislation, but across the nation things were different. In the Senate, many states were split with one senator voting one way and the other voting another. In the House, a coalition of 200 Democrats and Republicans co-sponsored the legislation. Even top Republicans in Congress were forced to publicly disagree with the president.

The Senate bill's principal sponsor, Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pennsylvania, who recently survived a brush with cancer, was joined by Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tennessee, a physician who argued that Bush's policy is too restrictive.

"I am pro-life, but I disagree with the president's decision to veto the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act," Frist said in a statement. "Given the potential of this research and the limitations of the existing lines eligible for federally funded research, I think additional lines should be made available."

Currently, House Republicans plan to re-introduce the legislation in an attempt to override President Bush's veto. Please help this effort! If your legislator voted against the bill last year, there's a chance that public opinion could change their mind this year. If they supported it last year, make sure you write them to encourage them to cast the same vote to override the veto. Right now, House leadership isn't sure that they'll have enough support for the measure, so this requires immediate action if we want to save lives. Contact your representatives in Congress here.

3 comments:

Steve Southwell said...

The idiots truly never cease to amaze me.

"This bill would support the taking of innocent human life in the hope of finding medical benefits for others," Bush said Wednesday afternoon. "It crosses a moral boundary that our decent society needs to respect."

Let me rewrite that for him:

"This [occupation in Iraq] would support the taking of innocent human life in the hope of finding [economic/political/financial] benefits for others," Bush said (never) in a rare moment of clarity. "It crosses a moral boundary that our decent society needs to respect."

This is a man that probably couldn't distinguish morality from oatmeal. It should be no surprise that a man who still can't pronounce "Nuclear" would be incapable of understanding that harvesting cells from frozen embryos destined for destruction anyway will IN NO WAY create a market for more embryos.

What really gets me is the obvious pandering by our own Rep. Michael Burgess, who should by his own medical training know better and let his conscience be his guide.

Nope, Burgess likes Bush and will follow the party line regardless of how ridiculous it may be. No matter what the cost in human lives.

Vince Leibowitz said...

Bradley,

Can you email me with your email addy? I need to send you something. great post on stem cell bill, btw.

Vince

Bradley Bowen said...

Vince, I sent it to your Comcast address because that's the only one I have for you.

Steve, I agree with your assessment of the stem cell issue. It's not killing anyone... the embryos would be discarded otherwise.