Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Stem Cell Bill In Jeopardy

The Senate voted well the other day, but apparently not well enough. The Senate passed the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act of 2005 63-37, four votes short of the veto proof margin necessary to ensure that the bill becomes law.

It hurts to use this kind of cliche, but 19 Republicans put policy ahead of politics and voted with 44 Democrats to expand federal funding for embryonic stem cell research. Nevertheless, the president has promised to use his first veto in more than 1600 bills when the legislation reaches his desk. Hopefully Bill Frist, who, as a former doctor, recognized the importance of the bill and voted in favor himself, will be able to persuade several of his colleagues to change their votes when it's time to override the veto.

On the other side of the aisle, Harry Reid might want to have a chat with Sen. Ben Nelson of Nebraska, the sole Democrat to vote against the bill. If it comes down to Nelson's vote, his committee assignments should be reviewed.

For a good analysis of the 9 Senators in re-election campaigns who voted nay, see this Washington Post article.


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