Reid, Ensign split on stem cell research bills

WASHINGTON — The Senate voted 63-34 last week to end the Bush administration’s ban on federal funding to expand embryonic stem cell research.

President Bush has vowed to veto the legislation.

Advocates of embryonic stem cell research say it could lead to cures for diseases, including Alzheimer’s, cancer and diabetes.

Critics argue there are doubts about the potential for the research and compare it to abortion because of the destruction of embryos.

Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., who introduced the bill in January on the first day of the new congressional session, voted for it. Sen. John Ensign, R-Nev., voted against it.

Another bill, which Bush endorsed, would expand stem cell research but would prohibit the destruction of embryos.

The Senate voted 70-28 to approve it. Ensign voted for the bill, while Reid voted against it.

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