A Colorado congresswoman said Saturday that President Bush was
motivated by “cold, calculated, cynical political gain” when he vetoed
a bill that would expand federal funding for embryonic stem cell

“The president’s veto had nothing to do with morals,” Rep. Diana
DeGette, D-Colo., said in the Democrats’ weekly radio address, but
instead “the kind of politics that snuffs out the candle of hope and
that condemns the disabled and the sick.”

DeGette and Rep. Mike Castle, R-Del., co-sponsored the bill, which
would allow federal funds to be used in research on embryos derived
from fertility treatments that would otherwise be discarded.

Supporters, who include former first lady Nancy Reagan, say
embryonic stem cell research could lead to cures for diseases such as
Alzheimer’s, diabetes, cancer and Parkinson’s. However, the process
destroys the embryo, considered a human life by many opponents of the

The bill passed the House last year and senators approved it
Tuesday. Bush had made no secret of his opposition. On Wednesday he
issued the first veto of his presidency, saying he did not want to
destroy life in the name of science.

DeGette called Bush’s veto “a sad sidebar in a debate that has been about ethical scientific research and hope.”

DeGette said the embryos used would not be those that would have
been for in-vitro fertilization but those that would be considered
medical waste. “It makes more sense to allow them to be donated to give
life and health to people in need,” she said.

“The veto has backfired already, putting the spotlight on his
stubborn resistance to facts,” she said. “This last-gasp effort to stop
stem cell research will be viewed by historians as a sign more of the
weakness of the opponents than a roadblock to progress.”

© 2006 The Associated Press