Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Update on the Senate bill to mandate OA at the NIH

First see my post from yesterday on the White House Statement of Administration Policy (SAP) threatening to veto the bill in its current form.

Now see this news from Kelly Field in the Chronicle of Higher Education News blog:

In an effort to avert a presidential veto, Senate leaders have stripped language from a pending appropriations bill that would have expanded federal financing for research on human embryonic stem cells....

The move to drop the controversial language came this afternoon [October 17]....The Senate is expected to debate the bill for the rest of the week.

“We wanted to show that we are willing to compromise,” said Sen. Tom Harkin, a Democrat of Iowa, in a floor statement. “We’re willing to try to meet the president halfway.”

But it’s unclear whether the concession will satisfy Mr. Bush, who has also threatened to veto the bill over its spending level....

Comment.  In yesterday's SAP, the White House outlined several grounds for the President's "strong opposition" to the bill.  The stem-cell provision was one of those --and the provision on the NIH was not.  If the Senate passes the bill in its new form, it's certainly possible that the President will still veto it.  But the very interesting possibility that he would not veto it has just become a couple of degrees more likely.  We'll see.