Bush vetoes stem cell research proposal

US President George W. Bush

President Bush did as promised Wednesday, issuing the first veto of his 5 1/2 years in office, rejecting an embryonic stem cell research bill.

"It crosses a moral boundary that our decent society needs to respect, so I vetoed it," Bush told backers at a White House event.

House Republican leaders told CNN they will attempt to override the veto, but don't believe they have the necessary two-thirds majority needed in each chamber.

The measure would have allowed federal funding for stem cell research involving human embryos destined to be destroyed after being rejected for fertility treatments. Supporters of the measure argue since the embryos are to be destroyed in any case, they could be used to further scientific research into cures for many diseases.

In August 2001, Bush announced he would only allow federal funding for research on about 60 stem-cell lines, CNN said, noting researchers have since found many of those lines are contaminated and unusable for research.

The measure to loosen the federal ban on such research passed the Senate 63-37, while the House approved the bill 238-194.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International


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