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Stem Cells again

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Stem Cells again

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Quote:WASHINGTON - A new round of debate on stem cell research opened Monday with emotional appeals by people who have survived diseases. They praised one House measure that is due for a vote and hailed lawmakers who are pushing a farther-reaching bill certain to draw a presidential veto. ADVERTISEMENT "As you consider the funding options for stem cell research, please remember me," Keone Penn, 18, said at a Capitol Hill news conference. He said he had been stricken with childhood sickle cell anemia and cured after a transplant from umbilical cord blood.The action centered on the two bills up for House debate Tuesday, with many lawmakers planning on supporting them both.One sponsored by Reps. Chris Smith, R-N.J., and Artur Davis, D-Ala., had wide bipartisan support and backing from President Bush. It would provide $79 million in federal money to increase the amount of umbilical cord blood for research and treatment and establish a national database for patients looking for matches.The other, sponsored by Reps. Mike Castle, R-Del., and Diana DeGette, D-Colo., also has bipartisan support but is staunchly opposed by the White House.That bill would lift Bush's 2001 ban on federal funding for new research on embryonic stem cells, a controversial process that requires the destruction of an embryo.Decrying science that destroys life to prolong it, Bush last week promised to veto the Castle-DeGette bill, and some lawmakers were following suit."This is not an easy vote for many Republicans ... and some Democrats, too, because you have pro-life and other arguments," Castle said. "There's a lot of tide against them voting for it."The sponsors, who have been counting votes for weeks, predicted the bill would garner the 218 votes needed for passage but fall short of the 290 votes needed to sustain a veto.The votes of about 20 members of both parties still were up for grabs, Castle said.Driving the pressure is deep emotion behind the promise
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