President Bush will likely cast the first veto of his presidency if the Senate, as expected, passes legislation to expand federal funding of embryonic stem-cell research, White House aide Karl Rove said today.
"The president is emphatic about this," Rove - Bush's top political advisor and architect of his 2000 and 2004 campaigns - said in a meeting with the editorial board of The Denver Post.
The U.S. House of Representatives has already passed the legislation, co-sponsored by Rep. Diana DeGette, D-Denver, and Rep. Mike Castle, R-Del. If the Senate approves the bill it would go to the president's desk.
Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., who backs the bill, has said he will try to bring it up for a Senate vote soon.
"It is something we would, frankly, like to avoid," Rove said when asked if the White House would welcome, or dread, vetoing legislation passed by a Republican Congress, especially on so emotional an issue as embryonic stem cell research.