WASHINGTON, October 31, 2001 ( – The Congressional Pro-Life Caucus reports that resident George W. Bush has threatened to veto a Senate bill which includes a clause in favour of embryonic stem cell research (ESCR). President Bush released a Statement of Administration Policy on the Senate Labor, Health, Human Services and Education Appropriations bill that is currently before Congress. The Bush administration’s position is clear that the President would veto the bill if the Senate language, written by pro-ESCR Sen. Arlen Specter, is included in the final bill.

According to John Cusey, of the Congressional Pro-Life Caucus, “the President deserves credit for strongly opposing Senator Specter’s language on destroying human embryos for research.” Specter’s language changes the Dickey-Wicker Amendment so that any President can just waive the protections for human embryos,” Cusey indicated. “It would also leave the door open for funding of research on cloned embryos or embryos specially created for research.”

The Administration statement says: “The President strongly believes that the Dickey-Wicker Amendment, which for years has ensured that the federal government observes important ethical boundaries at the same that it provides support for scientific research, should not be altered. The Administration therefore strongly opposes the Senate version of the bill, which modifies the existing language and would signal a weakening of the Federal Government’s commitment to protecting human embryos. The President’s senior advisors would recommend that he veto the bill if it contains the Senate’s language.”

(with files from Pro-Life Info-Net)