Veto Message for S. 5
The PRESIDING OFFICER laid before the Senate the following message from the President of the United States, together with an accompanying report; which was ordered to be held at the desk:
To the Senate of the United States:
I am returning herewith without my approval S. 5, the "Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act of 2007."
Once again, the Congress has sent me legislation that would compel American taxpayers, for the first time in our history, to support the deliberate destruction of human embryos.
In 2001, I announced a policy to advance stem cell research in a way that is ambitious, ethical, and effective. I became the first President to make Federal funds available for embryonic stem cell research, and my policy did this in ways that would not encourage the destruction of embryos. Since then, my Administration has made more than $130 million available for research on stem cell lines derived from embryos that had already been destroyed. We have also provided more than $3 billion for research on all forms of stem cells, including those from adult and other non-embryonic sources.
This careful approach is producing results. It has contributed to proven therapeutic treatments in thousands of patients with many different diseases. And it is opening the prospect of new discoveries that could transform lives. Researchers are now developing promising new techniques that offer the potential to produce pluripotent stem cells, without having to destroy human life—for example, by reprogramming adult cells to make them function like stem cells.
Technical innovation in this difficult area is opening up new possibilities for progress without conflict or ethical controversy. Researchers pursuing these kinds of ethically responsible advances deserve support, and there is legislation in the Congress to give them that support. Bills supporting alternative research methods achieved majority support last year in both the House and the Senate. Earlier this spring another bill supporting alternative research won overwhelming majority support in the Senate, and I call on House leaders to pass similar legislation that would authorize additional funds for ethical stem cell research. We cannot lose the opportunity to conduct research that would give hope to those suffering from terrible diseases and help move our Nation beyond the controversies over embryo destruction. I invite policymakers and scientists to come together to solve medical problems without compromising either the high aims of science or the sanctity of human life.
S. 5, like the bill I vetoed last year, would overturn today's carefully balanced policy on stem cell research. Compelling American taxpayers to support the deliberate destruction of human embryos would be a grave mistake. I will not allow our Nation to cross this moral line. For that reason, I must veto this bill.
GEORGE W. BUSH.
THE WHITE HOUSE, June 20, 2007.