Democrats Expect To Approve Stem Cell Legislation
Congressional Democrats early in 2007 expect to approve a bill similar to a measure (HR 810) President Bush vetoed earlier this year that would have expanded federal funding for human embryonic stem cell research, the Washington Post reports (Abramowitz/Weisman, Washington Post, 11/10).
Likely future House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Wednesday said the measure will be voted on during the first 100 business hours of the next congressional session, which begins in January 2007, the Denver Post reports (Mulkren, Denver Post, 11/9).
Federal funding for embryonic stem cell research is allowed only for research using embryonic stem cell lines created on or before Aug. 9, 2001, under a policy announced by Bush on that date. Bush in July vetoed the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act of 2005, which would have expanded stem cell lines that are eligible for federal funding and allowed funding for research using stem cells derived from embryos originally created for fertility treatments and willingly donated by patients.
Congress lacked the two-thirds majority to override Bush's veto (California Healthline, 7/20).
Pelosi on Thursday said the addition of six Democrats in the Senate and 29 in the House likely would not be enough to override another Bush veto on the legislation but added that Democrats aim to "build public support for a signature" (Washington Post, 11/10).
According to the Denver Post, Rep. Diana DeGette (D-Colo.), co-sponsor of the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act of 2005, believes Tuesday's election results might give the legislation "new life" (Denver Post, 11/9).