In 2001, GW Bush issued an executive order banning federal funding for embryonic stem cell research.
An executive order pertains to the executive branch only, therefore in 2006 Bush vetoed a bill that would have loosened restrictions on ESCs. According to the article that bill would have permitted couples to donate unused embryos for research purposes.
Last year, Obama issued an executive order essentially reversing Bush’s: “Obama’s move overturns an order signed by President Bush in 2001 that barred the National Institutes of Health from funding research on embryonic stem cells beyond using 60 cell lines that existed at that time.”
But according to this WT article, none of that means a thing. Did you know about the Dickey-Wicker Amendment? Don’t get your dickey in a wicker, if you didn’t:
“The Dickey Amendment (also known as the Dickey-Wicker Amendment) is the name of an appropriation’s bill rider attached to a bill passed by United States Congress in 1995, and signed by former President Bill Clinton which prohibits the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) from using appropriated funds for the creation of human embryos for research purposes or for research in which human embryos are destroyed.”
Presidents can order executive branch employees to do, or not do, whatever. But ever since 1995, Congress (which has the Constitution-granted power to dole out the bread) has been directing that no bread-doling shall go toward that stuff that W banned and O allowed. So neither executive order actually did a damn thing, apparently neither did that veto or the bill that inspired it, because Congress has been prohibiting ESC research all along. And all those histrionics surrounding the issue were ‘for entertainment purposes only.’ Sound about right?
[I intentionally tried to write this without giving away my opinion on the issue. I do have one. Want to guess what it is?]
[And if you know me already, no squealing.]