Yesterday (May 24) the US House of Representatives approved a stem cell bill that expands federal funding for embryonic stem cell research, allowing researchers to use tax dollars to study stem cells extracted from embryos that were discarded by fertility clinics. This is the first vote on embryonic stem cell research since President George Bush allowed limited federal funds to support research on existing cell lines in 2001.
The House also overwhelmingly approved a measure that creates banks of umbilical cord blood.
However, the 238 to 194 vote on embryonic stem cells lacked a two-thirds majority, which is needed to override a veto from President Bush, who has adamantly opposed the bill. Hours before the vote took place, the president met with parents of children who came from donated frozen embryos. The president has instead focused on promoting research using adult stem cells.
In a statement, Jim Greenwood, president...