Thursday, May 26, 2005

Filibuster or veto override on stem cell bill?

There's a lot of talking and a lot of jockeying over the stem cell bill that passed the House the other day.

Here's Morning Update's coverage, emphasis added:
Roll Call (5/26, Preston) says that “opponents of the bill said they were making plans to try and prevent an up-or-down vote on the legislation, and these Senators would not rule out launching a filibuster to achieve that goal. ‘This is a use of taxpayer money to destroy...human life,’ said Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kan.). ‘I will...use all the tools at my availability, because we shouldn’t be using taxpayer dollars to destroy human life.’ … It is unclear, though, whether opponents have the votes to sustain a filibuster.”
Meanwhile, says the New York Times (5/26, Stolberg), Specter “issued a stark challenge to President Bush on Wednesday, saying he had enough votes in the Senate to override a presidential veto of the measure. ‘I don't like veto threats, and I don't like statements about overriding veto threats,’ Mr. Specter said, speaking at a news conference where the House backers of the measure presented him the legislation, which passed the House on Tuesday, topped with a red bow. ‘But if a veto threat is going to come from the White House, then the response from the Congress is to override the veto, if we can,’ Mr. Specter added. ‘Last year we had a letter signed by some 58 senators, and we had about 20 more in the wings. I think if it really comes down to a showdown, we will have enough in the United States Senate to override a veto.’” But the House majority leader, Rep. Tom DeLay of Texas, “said the bill, which garnered a majority that fell 52 votes short of the two-thirds majority required to overturn a veto, would ‘never become law.’ And Mr. Bush, appearing at a news conference with the president of Indonesia, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, restated his opposition.”
So let me get this straight: we've got Senator Sam Brownback, a Republican of Kansas who was so in favor of the nuclear option just a few days, threatening a filibuster of the bill? How convenient.

Time to raise the pressure on the WH and GOP senators, let's get this one through!


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