MARKEY: PRESIDENT HAS A SECOND CHANCE TO MOVE BEYOND THIS LUDDITE MOMENT IN AMERICAN SCIENTIFIC HISTORY
Today, Rep. Edward J. Markey (D-MA), a senior member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, spoke in favor of H.R. 3, "The Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act," which significantly expands federal funding for life-saving stem cell research. Markey has been a champion of increased funding for stem cell research and also increasing the funding for the National Institutes of Health above the rate of inflation.
The House of Representatives passed this stem cell research bill in May 2005 and the U.S. Senate in July 2006, but it was vetoed by President Bush. At the time, Rep. Markey said, "The stem cell veto is an historic failure for the Bush presidency. If the Congress does not override his veto, this will be remembered as a Luddite Moment in American history, where fear triumphed over hope and ideology triumphed over science."
Markey said today, "It is rare that a President gets the opportunity to correct an historic mistake, vetoing the stem cell research bill. After the Senate acts, the President has a chance to erase this Luddite moment in scientific history, which took the hope away from millions of sick Americans and their families."
Embryonic stem cell research is supported by more than 500 organizations, including the American Medical Association, AARP, Association of American Medical Colleges, Parkinson's Action Network, American Diabetes Association, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, and Paralyzed Veterans of America.
Markey's prepared floor statement is below:
Last year, the President vetoed the hope and crushed the dreams of millions of patients and their families.
With the stroke of his pen, the President used his very first veto to block this bill, the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act, and to continue to impose severe restrictions on stem cell research.
We are now giving the President a second chance to move beyond this Luddite moment in American scientific history.
We must let hope triumph over fear and science triumph over ideology.
Diseases like diabetes, Alzheimer's and cancer wreak havoc on lives of millions of Americans. We can free our loved ones from this pain, but only if we free science to find the keys.
Embryonic stem cell research is the flickering candle of medical promise that gives hope for the treatment and cure of these devastating diseases.
Please do not condemn the afflicted to another generation of darkness.
It is past time to take this critical step towards fulfilling our moral obligation to do all we can to reduce pain and suffering around the world, and support ethical, comprehensive stem cell research.
Passage of the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act will be 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.
Today I urge my colleagues to rise up against the naysayers and vote for the life-giving, life-enhancing, life-extending potential of this remarkable research.
You can watch Markey's floor speech at http://markey.house.gov