In a major victory for Colorado Congresswoman Diana DeGette, the stem cell research measure passed the House of Representatives today, despite a threat by President Bush to veto the bill. Background can be found at this post from yesterday.
The vote was 238-194. Under the terms of the bill,
[research funding would extend to] embryonic stem cell lines that were nonexistent in 2001, when Bush limited funding to lines in existence at the time. According to scientists, many if not all of the previous lines are now contaminated and unusable.
DeGette said in debate today that
….couples who have undergone fertility treatments and have embryos they won’t use can then make the choice of putting them up for adoption, giving them directly to another couple, storing them, discarding them or donating them to science, co-sponsor Rep. Diana DeGette said during debate Tuesday.
The House did not pass the bill by enough of a margin to overcome a Bush veto, but the message is clear. Stem cell research funding is coming, it’s just a question of when now. The sooner the better, as far as I’m concerned.