- ‘In Jesus name, we pray’ sparks ire at Ohio council meeting
- Navy’s first laser weapon ready for prime time; drone killer to deploy this summer
- Billionaire backer: Rick Santorum ‘needs to be heard’ in 2016
- Obamacare fallout: 49 percent pessimistic; 45 percent ‘scared’
- Ukraine will compete in Sochi Paralympics despite Crimea conflict
- DHS accused of holding U.S. citizen at airport, using emails to pry into her sex life
- Seattle socialist: Minimum-wage discussion skewed by ‘right-wing’ GAO analysis
- U.N. warns of Muslim ‘cleansing’ in Central African Republic
- Senate blocks change to military sex assault cases
- Drug mix may have cured child born with HIV, doctors say
Bush nominee runs into crossfire
Homosexual advocacy groups are objecting strongly to President Bush’s nominee for surgeon general, but Dr. James W. Holsinger Jr. also faces questions from conservative groups about his views on human cloning and embryonic-stem-cell research.
Tom McCluskey, vice president for government affairs at the Family Research Council, said that Dr. Holsinger spoke to a Kentucky state legislature committee in 2002 and “testified in support of loosening regulations around cloning and embryonic-stem-cell research.”
“We’re not supportive of his nomination right now,” Mr. McCluskey said, adding that “we’ve been told he’s come around on the issue, but the surgeon general is such a strong bully pulpit position that we want to be sure.”
White House spokeswoman Emily Lawrimore said that Dr. Holsinger’s 2002 testimony against a ban on cloning was because “he felt that the penalties proposed in the bill were disproportionately severe on patients and researchers.”
“Since 2002, there have been significant advances in new techniques for potentially deriving pluripotent stem cells without cloning or destroying embryos. As such, Dr. Holsinger believes the president’s cloning policy is appropriate,” Miss Lawrimore said.
“His main focus will be childhood obesity, so he will not be involved in determining policy related to stem-cell research,” Miss Lawrimore said.
Dr. Holsinger will have a confirmation hearing Thursday before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, which is led by Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, Massachusetts Democrat.
Mr. Kennedy has said he is “disappointed” with Mr. Bush’s nomination, without fully opposing Dr. Holsinger, whom he called “an individual whose record appears to guarantee a polarizing and divisive nomination process.”
Dr. Holsinger, 68, is a retired major general in the U.S. Army Reserve who worked for 26 years in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs before becoming chancellor of the University of Kentucky Medical Center in 1994.
In 2003, Dr. Holsinger was appointed to be Kentucky’s secretary of health and family services.
Two of the committee’s three Democratic presidential candidates — Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York and Christopher J. Dodd of Connecticut — oppose Dr. Holsinger. Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois said he has “serious reservations.”
Five other Democrats did not respond to requests for comment and two did not take a position.
By Tammy Bruce
- Putin has transformed Russian army into a lean, mean fighting machine
- Bill Clinton cashes in on struggling nonprofit hospital
- IRS to turn over Lerner emails in tea party targeting probe
- PRUDEN: Likening Putin to Hitler on Ukraine shows Hillary's shaky grasp of history
- DELAY: A revolution for the Constitution
- BRUCE: Obama's bizarre immigration rules
- Unemployment insurance vote could happen next week
- CPAC 2014: Huckabee says government impeding religious liberty
- Kim Jong-un calls for execution of 33 Christians
- Bill Clinton poses for photo with Bunny Ranch prostitutes
Pope Francis meets his 'mini-me'
Celebrity deaths in 2014
Winter storm hits states — again