Where they stand
A presidential veto threat surfaced last week, as George W. Bush—during a White House photo opportunity—said he would veto any measure to expand federal funding for stem-cell research, a threat that drew an immediate response from U.S. Sen. Harry Reid, the Democratic floor leader.
Bush: “I am a strong supporter of stem-cell research, but I’ve made very clear to Congress that the use of federal taxpayer money to promote science that destroys life in order to save life, I am against this. Therefore, if the bill does that, I will veto it.”
Reid: “Embryonic-stem-cell research provides us the hope of new cures and therapies, and we should embrace this research opportunity and not allow radical ideology to stand in the way. President Bush has made the wrong choice, putting politics ahead of safe, responsible science.”
Bush was reacting to Korean scientist Hwang Woo-suk’s announcement of the first embryonic stem cells genetically tailored to individual patients, a major advance in stem-cell research because the cells are less likely to be rejected by immune systems.
Bush’s threat was directed at legislation sponsored by Republicans in both the House and Senate—U.S. Rep. Mike Castle of Delaware in the House and U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah in the Senate.