President George W. Bush on Wednesday said he would veto a bill that would allow federal funding for embryonic stem cell research.
"I would be vetoing the bill if it were to pass the United States Senate," Bush said to journalists at the White House according to the Associated Press.
Bush’s statements came just one day after the House voted 238-194 to pass a controversial bill in support of embryonic stem cell research. The vote falls far short of the 60 percent majority needed to override a presidential veto – the first ever that would be used by Bush since taking office in 2001.
Meanwhile, Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid called for a swift vote on a similar bill at the Senate and criticized President Bush for opposing the measure. Some supporters of embryonic research also claimed to have enough votes in the Senate to override the 60 percent majority to override Bush’s veto.
Nonetheless, Bush declared that such research is unethical because it involves the destruction of human embryos.
"There must be a balance between science and ethics and I have made my decision,” said Bush. "The use of federal dollars to destroy life is something I simply do not support.”
The president passed a measure in 2001 to bar federal money for use in embryonic stem-cell research on embryos harvested after August of that year.