REP. SOLIS VOTES TO GIVE PEOPLE HOPE BY EXPANDING EMBRYONIC STEM CELL RESEARCH
Today, Congresswoman Hilda L. Solis (D-CA) voted in support of stem cell research, a promising science that provides hope for millions of families whose loved ones suffer from Parkinson's disease, cancer, Alzheimer's disease, and more. S. 5 passed the U.S. House by a vote of 247 - 176.
The House had passed a similar bill (H.R. 3) as part of the "100 Hours Agenda" in January. The Senate then passed S. 5 in April. By passing the Senate-passed S. 5 today, the House is sending the bill directly to the President's desk.
"Puerto Ricans and Mexican Americans are nearly twice as likely to have diabetes. The promising potential of stem cell research for those with diabetes provides a real opportunity to eliminate one of the most blatant health disparities for Latinos and African Americans."
This bill would expand the federal funding of embryonic stem cell research by lifting the restrictions on the embryonic stem cell lines that can be used for federally-funded research - restrictions that were imposed by President Bush in 2001. Most of the stem cell lines authorized for federally-funded research under the President's policy are now no longer useful for research. However, the bill only authorizes federal research funds for stem cell lines generated from embryos that would otherwise be discarded by fertility clinics. The bill also creates an ethical framework that must be followed in conducting this research under the guidance of the National Institutes of Health.
"Today Members of Congress, from both sides of the aisle, joined together to put patients first by passing this stem cell research enhancement bill," said Solis. "The American people spoke clearly this past November supporting the promise of embryonic stem cell research and it is fitting that Congress now send this bill to the President's desk."
The bill is supported by more than 500 organizations, including the American Medical Association, AARP, Association of American Medical Colleges, and Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, as well as many faith-based groups.
This stem cell research bill passed the Congress in the 109th Congress, but unfortunately was vetoed by President Bush in July 2006.
"This research has the supported of more than 70 percent of Americans and I hope that, this year, the President will reconsider his veto threat and listen to the voices of the American people by signing this bill," said Solis. "It is up to us to act. This critical legislation will become law; it's only a matter of when."