I am sorry to ditch the Weekly Roundup for a second week in a row, but when something catches my eye that I can’t resist, the Roundup has to go….
This week, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist is reportedly determined to bring the issue of stem cell research to the Senate floor for a vote, a full year after the House acted. If passed, the bill would counter the unpopular position taken by the Administration that so drastically limits stem cell research.
What, one wonders, is the sudden urgency? Senator Frist has dawdled with this legislation for ages. It is not as if the need for the research has suddenly intensified. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that President Bush’s poll numbers continue their downward slide. So do the poll numbers of the Congress. The possibility of a change in power in the two houses seems greater each day. That, perhaps, is the motivation.
I don’t think anyone, least of all me, should glibly second-guess the sage wisdom of our leaders in Congress. But if one were the tiniest bit cynical, one might suspect that Dr./Senator Frist’s sudden interest in passing this bill is not necessarily a position of moral conviction, but rather that it provides Republicans with a ready and much-needed vehicle to run away from the unpopular President Bush. And it has the added benefit of appearing, for once, as of Congress is standing up to the policies of the Administration and acting as an independent body. While it may be too late for that, if Frist acts, there could at least be one sensible action taken by the anemic Congress this year – and all for the benefit of people suffering life threatening illnesses and disabilities.