Friday, June 8, 2007

Stem Cell Bill Passes, Moves to President's Desk

The House of Representatives passed the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act (S. 5) yesterday with a bipartisan vote of 247 to 176. Thanks to the thousands of MS activists who contacted your representatives in Congress recently in support of this issue. Several MS activists participated in an event lauding the passage of the bill in the U.S. Capitol Building following the vote. They joined Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (CA) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (NV), along with House champions Mike Castle (DE), Dianne DeGette (CO), and Jim Langevin (RI).

Photo right: Senator Tom Harkin (IA), Senate sponsor of the stem cell bill, speaks with MS activists before the event, including Rob Engel upper left and Janet Abrams seated.

The bill is now on its way to the president’s desk, but he has vowed to veto any legislation lifting his ban on federal funding for additional embryonic stem cell lines. If a veto occurs, the bill will return to the Congressional chamber of origin — in this case the Senate — for an override attempt. A two-thirds majority is necessary to override a presidential veto. While the votes are close, it is possible that the Senate will have the 67 votes necessary. We will keep all MS activists up to date as this progresses in the coming week.

Photo left: Senator Harry Reid (NV) comments on the bill alongside MS activists and representatives from other patient groups.

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