Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Stem Cell Votes in the House

Several hours of debate over two stem cell bills (discussed here) are about to end on the House floor, and votes on the bills will be held shortly. The New York Times' Timothy Williams filed this report on the debate early this evening, covering President Bush's veto threat and most of the day's floor discussions on the measures.

Not surprisingly, I guess, those who oppose Castle-DeGette are basically accusing its proponents of murder. This is really quite difficult to stomach. Have Tom DeLay and Henry Hyde really not even read the legislation? Here's a quote directly from the bill: "Prior to the consideration of embryo donation and through consultation with the individuals seeking fertility treatment, it was determined that the embryos would never be implanted in a woman and would otherwise be discarded." That's one of the requirements for the use of these embryos - it was determined that the embryos would never be implanted in a woman and would otherwise be discarded. It's hard to believe that those who say so strenuously that they value "life" so much that they would rather embryos be thrown out than used in stem cell research. But I guess they do.

I will update as soon as the votes are announced.

[MAJOR UPDATE: H.R. 810, the Castle-DeGette bill to allow federal funding for research on stem cell research on embyros that would otherwise be discarded, just passed the House by a margin of 238-194. Fifty Republicans, 187 Democrats and one Independent voted in support; 180 Republicans were joined by 14 Democrats in opposition. I'll post a roll call vote once it's available. The vote now has begun on Smith-Davis, H.R. 2520. -- 6:11 p.m.]

[Update: Smith-Davis, to increase federal funding into adult stem cell research, passed the House by a vote of 431-1 (one Republican voting no).

Now the questions. Will the Senate take up Castle-DeGette or a similar bill in the near future? If so, will it pass? If it passes, will President Bush follow through on his threat to veto it? -- 6:19 p.m.]

[Update: Roll call on H.R. 810 here. Roll call on H.R. 2520 here. -- 7:37 p.m.]

[Update: New NYT story from David Stout and Timothy Williams here. -- 9:05 p.m.]

2 Comments:

At 10:50 PM, Blogger DarkSyde said...

I'll have a 'round the blogosphere run on ESCR tomorrow at my home Blog and I'll link this one.

 
At 12:33 AM, Anonymous Simon said...

H.R. 810 will be shut down in the Senate, by Sam Brownback (KS) if by no-one else; he was on the floor this afternoon commiting himself to killing it stone dead. If it ever makes it out of the Senate, Bush won't even hesistate to veto it; it didn't get anywhere near a veto-proof margin in the House, and it certainly won't get one in the Senate. So it's a dead duck.

H.R. 2520, on the other hand, is a good, strong bill; opponents of embrionic stem cell research will find much more mileage in pushing the results (and indeed, the existence) of adult stem cell research. I think that a large section of the public is unaware that stem cells can come from any source other than morally objectionable ones; if anything, my understanding is that adult stem cells are not only more acceptable, but a more active field of inquiry. In any instance, I doubt it will find much opposition in the Senate (indeed, only the libertarian, Ron Paul, opposed it in the House), and given that Pres. Bush has shown a marked inclination to use government spending in support of his ideals (q.v. Sullivan, "Crisis of Faith"; The New Republic, 4/25/05), its unlikely that this will be vetoed.

All in all, a good day in the House.

 

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