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Cloning steps sideways

Short on votes, US Senate cloning opponent considers proposing a two-year moratorium.

Eugene Russo(erusso@the-scientist.com)

WASHINGTON DC — Faced with insufficient support for a measure to completely ban both therapeutic and reproductive cloning in the US, Senator Sam Brownback (Republican) will consider advancing a two-year moratorium on cloning rather than seeking a complete ban, a spokesperson from Senator Brownback's office told The Scientist.

As a contentious vote on cloning nears, both President George W. Bush and the House of Representatives have approved of a complete ban on cloning. Senator Brownback would need 60 votes for his original bill, a complete ban, to prevent filibustering (or endless delay by pontificating senators). Likely short of those 60 votes, and frustrated, according to an office spokesperson, that the opposing side has made the ground rules for voting floor procedures unfavorable and unacceptable, Brownback developed the idea for a moratorium. The moratorium proposal was reported but not confirmed in other media outlets this week.

The senator may also consider...

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