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Legislation | Conservatives still awaiting their promised opportunity to debate cloning

Issue: "Global shame," June 15, 2002

Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle promised supporters of legislation to ban human cloning that he'd allow debate on the issue in March or April. Maybe he meant 2003.

Senate leaders are now debating what to work on after they finish a supplemental spending bill. The Democrats want to take up Sen. Ted Kennedy's hate-crimes bill, which would provide federal grants to state and local law-enforcement agencies for "the extraordinary expenses" of prosecuting hate crimes.

Conservative Republicans argue the cloning issue is more pressing. They want to consider a complete ban sponsored by Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kan.) and Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.), supported by President Bush, and a carbon copy of a House bill that passed by a 100-vote margin a year ago. But they'll also consider a ban on reproductive cloning that permits embryo-destroying research, a proposal the president won't sign. Neither side is confident it has 60 votes to avoid a possible filibuster.

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