Bush's First Veto in Five Years

Good bye republicans. Good bye. Come November your leader, our leader, pfft, will miss seeing you in the halls of the House and the Senate. That is, unless more of you hop over the line and pull out a 2/3 vote – which is unlikely. Thanks for not seeing the future W. Thanks ever so much.
Presidential Vetoes (1789 to Present).

Ahhh! Why was he re-elected!?
Original link

Bush Vetoes Stem Cell Bill As Promised

Wednesday July 19, 2006 8:16 PM

AP Photo WHCD102


Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) – President Bush cast the first veto of his 5-year presidency Wednesday, saying legislation easing limits on federal funding for embryonic stem cell research “crosses a moral boundary” and is wrong.

“This bill would support the taking of innocent human life in the hope of finding medical benefits for others,” Bush said at a White House event where he was surrounded by 18 families who “adopted” frozen embryos not used by other couples, and then used those leftover embryos to have children.

“Each of these children was still adopted while still an embryo and has been blessed with a chance to grow, to grow up in a loving family. These boys and girls are not spare parts,” he said.

The veto came a day after the Senate defied Bush and approved the legislation, 63-37, four votes short of the two-thirds margin needed to override. White House officials and Republican congressional leaders claimed it was unlikely that Congress could override the veto.

Bush’s support was the strongest in the House, which was expected to take up the veto as early as later Wednesday.

“We will go back and sustain his veto this afternoon,” veto supporter Rep. Joe Pitts, R-Pa., told reporters at the White House after the event. “We had 52 votes to spare when it passed and I predict the House will sustain that veto.”

Bush has supported federally funded research on only those stem cell lines created before Aug. 9, 2001, the date of his speech to the nation on the subject.

The president vetoed the measure shortly after it came to his desk. His position was politically popular among conservative Republicans, and it was sure to be an issue in the midterm congressional elections.

Announcing the veto, Bush was surrounded in the East Room by so-called “snowflake” families, those with children born through embryo donation.

“They remind us of what is lost when embryos are destroyed in the name of research. The remind us that we all begin our lives as a small collection of cells. And they remind us that in our zeal for new treatments and cures, America must never abandon our fundamental morals,” Bush said.

He said the bill would have crossed a line and “once crossed, we would find it impossible to turn back.”

At the same time, Bush announced he had signed another bill, passed unanimously in the House and Senate, that would pre-emptively ban “fetal farming,” the prospect of raising and aborting fetuses for scientific research.

Moments after Bush spoke, the vetoed legislation was returned to Congress.

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., was quick to criticize the president’s veto.

“I am pro-life, but I disagree with the president’s decision to veto the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act,” said Frist. “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.”

Said Bush: “As science brings us every closer to unlocking the secrets of human biology, it also offers temptations to manipulate human life and violate human dignity. Our conscience in history as a nation demand that we resist this temptation.

“America was founded on the principle that we are all created equal and endowed by our creator with the right to life,” he added. “We can advance the cause of science while upholding this founding promise. We can harness the promise of technology without becoming slaves to technology. And we can ensure that science serves the cause of humanity, instead of the other way around.”

Pleadings from celebrities, a former first lady and fellow Republicans had failed to t move Bush. He acted after two days of often wrenching emotional debate in Congress, punctuated by stories of personal and family suffering, that had cast lawmakers into the intersection of politics, morality and science.

Strong majorities in the House and Senate joined sentiments with most Americans in passing the bill, which would have lifted restriction currently limiting federally funded research to stem cell lines created before Aug. 9, 2001.

“I expect that the House will sustain the president’s veto,” said House Majority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, said in advance of Bush’s action.

Disappointed lawmakers said they intended to keep pushing to lift the restrictions.

Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah said in advance that the veto “sets back embryonic stem cell research another year or so.”

The Senate voted 63-37 on Tuesday, four votes short of the two-thirds majority that would be needed to override a veto. The House last year fell 50 votes short of a veto-proof margin when it passed the same bill, 238-194.

Bush had made 141 veto threats during his time in office, and the Republicans controlling Congress typically respond by changing bills to his liking.

Bush’s stand against stem cells is popular among conservative Republicans that the party will rely on in the congressional elections this fall. Those opponents are the same voters who have felt alienated by Bush’s actions to increase legal immigration, and the veto could bring them back into the fold.

Although many in the religious right are passionately opposed to embryonic stem cell research, most Americans support it, and Bush risks alienating that majority in the critical midterm year.

On the Net:

Information on the bills, H.R. 810, S. 3504 and S. 2754, may be found at http://thomas.loc.gov

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