Bush Set to Use First Veto on Stem Cell Bill
President Bush is set to veto his first bill.
Since his inauguration in 2000, President Bush has gone out of his way to avoid an overt confrontation with Congress. He has been helped by the strong support of GOP leaders, who have made sure that he has been sent bills to his liking, and he has been willing to swallow some legislation — a campaign finance package, for instance — to avoid a political confrontation. But Bush is unwilling to tolerate deviations from his policy restricting federal funding for stem cell research that he set out in his first prime-time television address in August 2001. If all goes as scheduled later this week, he will do something he has avoided for nearly six years: veto a bill.
It’s about time, I guess, for him to veto something. I’d certainly have preferred it be a spending bill.
I haven’t studied the stem cell debate all that closely but tend to think the president’s compromise position makes sense. Given that abortion is reality, it seems strange to compound the tragedy by not at least getting potential medical benefits from the discarded tissue. At the same time, however, a substantial enough percentage of the population feels strongly about the issue that using federal funding for something they find morally outrageous is unnecessary.