Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Legislative Update

President Bush today vetoed another bill to expand federally backed embryonic stem cell research. It was the third veto of Bush’s presidency, and the second time he has vetoed embryonic stem cell research legislation that passed with bi-partisan majorities in both Houses (but sadly, not enough to override) and is supported by nearly 70% of Americans in most polls. However, some lawmakers are discussing adding an embryonic stem cell research provision to a future spending bill.

The House today approved plans to halt funding for the development of a new generation of nuclear warheads, eliminating about $82 million for continuing development of the Reliable Replacement Warhead program. The House also passed a bill that would give the Justice Department more than $100 million for new prosecutors, FBI agents and other resources to revisit unsolved murders from the civil rights era. The bill passed by a margin of 422-2. The bill is named in honor of Emmett Till, a black teenager from Chicago who was beaten and murdered in Mississippi in 1955 after being accused of whistling at a white woman. His killers were never convicted.

Also, in an effort that compliments plans in the Senate, House Democrats are readying another series of votes on Iraq, including a motion to deauthorize the war, that could come to the floor as early as July, Roll Call reports. Rep. Jim Moran said he expects the fiscal 2008 bill to contain measures including the prohibition of permanent bases in Iraq as well as the invasion of Iran.

Next Tuesday, the Senate is expected to vote on the Employee Free Choice Act. In early March, the House passed the bill, which makes it easier for employees to join a union, with a 241-185 vote. However, despite unanimous Democratic support, Republicans will likely have the votes to keep it from reaching the 60-vote hurdle to invoke cloture and pass the bill. The White House has also previously issued a veto threat. Harold Meyerson over at The Washington Post details why it is ridiculous for Republicans to oppose this and also oppose immigration reform, which the Senate will debate again soon, on pro-labor grounds.

1 comment:

Xanthippas said...

Once again our President has put himself on the side opposite the majority of the American people, which only confirms in my opinion that he's really only intersted in the opinion of the being he prays to every night before he goes to bed.