Rep. Diana DeGette (D-Colo.) on Friday said she would find a way to pass legislation (HR 3, S 5) she introduced that would expand federal funding for human embryonic stem cell research even if President Bush vetoes the measure, including attaching the measure to "must-pass" bills, the AP/Fort Collins Coloradoan reports (Paulson, AP/Fort Collins Coloradoan, 1/26). Federal funding for embryonic stem cell research is allowed only for research using embryonic stem cell lines created on or before Aug. 9, 2001, under a policy announced by Bush on that date. The House earlier this month voted 253-174 to approve DeGette's measure -- called the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act of 2007 -- which would expand the number of stem cell lines that are eligible for federal funding by allowing funding for research using stem cells derived from embryos originally created for fertility treatments and willingly donated by patients. Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) also has said that if Bush vetoes the measure, then he will try to attach it to any "must-do" legislation (Kaiser Daily Women's Health Policy Report, 1/22). The measure is the same as a bill (HR 810) Bush vetoed last year, and the White House in a statement released earlier this month reiterated Bush's intent to veto the measure (Kaiser Daily Women's Health Policy Report, 1/12). DeGette said the White House told her Bush was unavailable after she offered to talk with him about the issue. "He can do this the easy way, or he can do this the hard way," DeGette said (AP/Fort Collins Coloradoan, 1/26).

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