As expected, the Senate just passed a bill to overturn President Bush’s embryonic stem cell funding policy. But sponsors told the Washington Post yesterday they expected to have 66 votes, which would be enough to override President Bush’s promised veto of the bill. They came in three votes short: 63 to 34, but really 1 vote short, as the two members not voting (in the currently 99-member Senate) were both almost certain to support the bill. The House, when it voted in January, fell far shorter than that of the margin needed to override a veto.
Senators are now voting on a bill to support emerging alternative techniques to derive cells with the abilities of those derived from human embryos, but without the need to harm such embryos—a bill sponsored by Republicans Norm Coleman and Johnny Isakson, and supported by Bush.