By Frank Long, HR Associate Editor

June 21, 2007

The latest congressional drive to expand federally funded stem cell research was stymied yesterday when President Bush leveled a veto against the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act of 2007 (S. 5).

Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid (D-NV), is expected to attempt to rally the Senate for a two-thirds approval vote that would override the executive action, however, when the bill passed the Senate April 11 it garnered only 64 ayes—three votes short of the necessary majority. To resurrect the legislation, Reid will need a substantial number of Republican senators to cross party lines.

The President announced his action at the White House against a backdrop of young children born through an embryo-adoption program.

“This bill would support the taking of innocent human life,” Bush stated in an article that appeared on the New York Times’ Web site. “Each of these human embryos is a unique human life with inherent dignity and matchless value.”

Last year Bush also handed a drubbing to Republican-authored legislation (H.R. 810) that was nearly identical to S. 5. During the 109th Congress the Senate passed H.R. 810 by a 63-37 vote before Bush extinguished the the bill with his veto.

Among the 41 co-sponsors of S. 5 are Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY), Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-MA), and Sen. John Kerry (D-MA).