The US House of Representatives voted today 253 to 174 to pass legislation lifting President Bush's prohibition on federal funding for stem cell research using human embryos.
The White House responded that the President is prepared to veto the bill, identical to others passed in both chambers before the most recent mid-term elections. The vote was short of the two-thirds majority required to overturn a Presidential veto.
The House of Representatives heard evidence that despite hyped media claims, embryonic stem cells had yet to produce any results and their use in therapies had produced dangerous side effects, including tumors.
At the same time, since the Bush administration's ban on public funding for research using embryos, the field of adult and umbilical cord research had flourished. Rep. Dave Weldon informed the House that stem cells from non-embryonic sources such as umbilical cords, placentas and nasal passages were already being used successfully to treat illnesses.
Rep. Jeff Fortenberry said, "Why not invest our limited resources in adult stem cell research that is showing great promise and giving real hope?"
With Democrat control in both the House and Senate since the November mid-term election, however, many political observers believe it is only a matter of time before the funding prohibition is overturned.