July 18, 2006 - MARKEY URGES PRESIDENT NOT TO KILL HOPE FOR MILLIONS OF AMERICANS BY VETOING STEM CELL RESEARCH BILL PASSED BY HOUSE AND SENATE
Today, Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA), a senior member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, delivered the following statement on the floor of the House in support of the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act that was passed by the House and Senate, which the President has threatened to veto. Markey is an original co-sponsor of the bipartisan measure that just passed the Senate today by a vote of 63-37. Rep. Markey's statement as prepared follows:
Today's passage of the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act in the other body is a victory for science, a victory for progress and a victory for the millions of Americans who are struggling to survive in the face of devastating disease.
It is a magnificent milestone on our journey to realizing the life-giving potential of stem cells.
21 million Americans have diabetes;
4.5 million Americans have Alzheimer's;
1.5 million Americans suffer from Parkinson's disease; and
More than 1 million people in our country have muscular dystrophy.
Embryonic stem cell research is one of the most promising paths to the treatment and cure of these devastating diseases.
Nevertheless, President Bush is now threatening to use his very first veto to prevent scientists from using federal funds to search for these cures.
He is threatening to use his very first veto to dash the hopes of patients and their families.
The majority of Americans support embryonic stem cell research because they understand that research is medicine's field of dreams, a field from which we harvest new knowledge about the causes, treatment, and prevention of disease and develop cures.
While support for adult stem cell research and other types of research is important, there is no substitute for allowing American scientists to fully explore the potential of embryonic stem cells.
This is a big moment in the history of medicine, and the President is promising to send us a veto that places him firmly on the wrong side of history, and the wrong side of hope.
Hope is a powerful force, and I have no doubt that hope will win out in the end. But if a Bush veto is allowed to snuff out this flickering candle of medical cures just as it is lit, we will be condemning the afflicted to another generation of darkness.
We will be ending Hope
- for the child with muscular dystrophy who can't understand why his body is getting weaker, when other children are getting stronger
- for the veteran whose spinal cord injury has left him stranded in a wheelchair.
- for the spouse who watches as her husband's memory fades away.
Let's not veto hope.
Please don't veto hope.
We must not veto hope!