Washington, DC (APE) – President Bush early this morning followed through with his threatened veto of the controversial stem cell bill approved by Congress yesterday and immediately followed it with a signing statement. The current signing statement adds to a total of some 500 to 600 issued by the president throughout his tenure, preserving, according to White House sources, his perfect record.
At a hastily prepared press conference, President Bush angrily waved a glossy photo of a digitally enhanced actual stem cell. “This could have been my son, or your son…” ranted Bush, “or my mother, or your father, or a new heart or a kidney for your grandfather Prescott… well heck… I guess it could have been just about anything. But that’s beside the point. This is just wrong. We can’t be playing God like that doctor and those nurses in New Orleans.”
White House spokesperson Tony Snow stated afterwards that while technically the president had issued a veto on the bill, his signing statement questioned the veto, as is the right of the unitary executive, during particular instances of national security. He went on to praise the president for what he considered an act of compromise and courage, citing this as proof that President Bush continues to be a uniter and not a divider.
An advance copy of the 12 page veto signing statement released to the press in attendance cited the Bush administration’s continued support for the occupation of Iraq. It advised that the president could question the constitutionality of the veto, and indeed intentionally violate it on the grounds of supporting further enlistment and functioning of the Army and National Guard. The document cited the recruitment shortfalls in all branches of service as well as the diminished organ donor pool for casualties in Iraq. While it did not state at what point plans would be implemented, the signing statement went on to outline how human cloning experimentation could be accelerated with the government’s assistance if need be.
Reactions from senators were not immediately available, but Washington observers stated that the president’s action would likely be found offensive to Democrats and Republicans alike.
North Carolina Senator Elizabeth Dole, who voted against the original stem cell bill, will likely find herself at loggerheads with the president’s veto signing statement. Mrs. Dole had earlier announced the launch of her “Adopt a Snowflake Baby” campaign which she launched in North Carolina yesterday. The program recruits volunteers as de facto guardian ad litems for the almost 500,000 frozen embryos currently living in the United States.