... controversial stem cells bill ...
In a calculated move late Tuesday evening, Democrats introduced the deceptively titled Human Cloning Prohibition Act. The bill was immediately put on today's suspension calendar -- meaning no amendments could be considered prior to a vote.
The billed failed to get the two-thirds majority needed to pass under the rules. The vote was 213-204.
While proponents said the bill would ban some types of cloning, pro-life experts called it a carefully constructed façade that would establish federal protection for human cloning.
A White House statement released Wednesday said senior presidential advisers would have recommended that President Bush veto the bill if it had reached his desk.
"The Administration is strongly opposed to any legislation," the statement said, "that would prohibit human cloning for reproductive purposes, but permit the creation of cloned embryos or development of human embryo farms for research, which would require the destruction of nascent human life."
H.R. 2560, introduced by Rep. Diana DeGette, D- Colo., replaced the word "cloning" with the scientific term "somatic cell nuclear transfer." "A true cloning ban would prohibit the use of somatic cell nuclear transfer to clone a new human life," Vargo said.
In a letter to the U.S. House, the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC) said DeGette used stealth tactics to push the bill, because she didn't want colleagues to have time to read it. "H.R. 2560 would allow development of these cloned embryos in the laboratory, perhaps even for weeks, so that they can be killed in order to harvest their stem cells," NRLC wrote.
The bill was introduced without committee, hearing or debate.
(Source: Focus on the Family; Citizen Alert 6/6/07)