President Bush yesterday vetoed the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act of 2007 (HR 810/S 471), which would have expanded federally funded embryonic stem cell research by allowing the study of cells from donated, frozen embryos that would have been destroyed at fertility clinics. After vetoing the bill, Bush issued an executive order to encourage federal agencies to support research of medically useful stem cells that already exist — a suggestion that many researches have rejected. President Bush stated that the legislation had crossed an ethical line, saying, “the Congress has sent me legislation that would compel American taxpayers, for the first time in our history, to support the deliberate destruction of human embryos.”
In response to his previous veto, Rep. Diana DeGette (D-CO), whose daughter has juvenile diabetes, authored legislation to repeal President Bush’s decision. She points out that the majority of Americans support stem cell research, and that the issue is no longer a debate between liberals and conservatives or Democrats and Republicans, but an issue that unites Americans towards a common goal of bringing a cure to millions of people.
Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) called the President’s decision another “example of how the president puts ideology before science, politics before the needs of our families — just one more example of how out of touch with reality he and his party have become,” according to the Washington Post.
This is just the third time Bush has exercised his veto power during his presidency. Bush’s first veto was in 2006, also to block stem cell research.