June 20, 2007
Congress will have to go back to the drawing board on one of the Democrats' top priorities.
On Wednesday, President Bush will veto a bill that would have eased the restrictions on using federal dollars to pay for embryonic stem cell research. Bush believes it's immoral to make taxpayers fund what he calls the destruction of human life.
But critics say Wednesday's veto will only put the brakes on a possible breakthrough.
"We have to do more. We have to have better solutions. We have people who are suffering, people who are dying, and the science is ready to move forward," said Susan Solomon of the New York Stem Cell Foundation.
Researchers and lawmakers aren't the only ones focused on the issue. The latest polls show strong public support for embryonic stem cell research, and it could end up as a major issue in the upcoming Presidential elections.
After vetoing the bill, President Bush will issue an executive order, directing the government to take its research in a new direction. He wants the Health and Human Services Department to take a look at other types of cells that could act like embryonic stem cells and regenerate to fight disease.
Right now, federal money can be used to pay for research on stem cells that existed as of August 2001. The bill President Bush is ready to veto would have lifted that date restriction.
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