STEM CELL RESEARCH ENHANCEMENT ACT OF 2005 -- (Extensions of Remarks - July 19, 2006)
HON. MARY BONO
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
WEDNESDAY, JULY 19, 2006
* Mrs. BONO. Mr. Speaker, I would like to commend Representatives Castle and DeGette for their tireless efforts on behalf of H.R. 810, the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act of 2005. This important legislation provides much needed expansion of federal policy while implementing stricter ethical guidelines for this research.
* I would be remiss in my commendation if I failed to mention the work of former first lady Nancy Reagan, who has been a true leader on this issue. I would like to reiterate a point made in one of her oft quoted statements on this issue, ``We have lost so much time already. I just really can't bear to lose any more.'' Time is one commodity that we cannot create, we cannot stop and we cannot afford to waste. The American people have made clear their support for this research, and I am proud that Congress has acted. We have passed this critical stem cell legislation in both the House and the Senate. We are on the brink of moving forward in a scientific endeavor that has the potential to ease the pain and suffering of millions--to be stopped here is to deprive millions of hope.
* While I commend President Bush for taking the initiative in 2001 to provide Federal funds for stem cell research, I am deeply disappointed with the decision to move ahead with this veto. Many human diseases arise from a defect in a single gene; muscular dystrophy, cystic fibrosis, and Huntington's disease, to name a few. Embryonic research provides an unparalleled opportunity to understand and perhaps correct some of the errors that result in these medical conditions.
* My own State of California has already moved ahead by establishing the Institute for Regenerative Medicine, which will devote $3 billion to embryonic stem cell over the next 10 years. As the people of California did, Congress now has the opportunity to permit embryonic stem cell research, which will allow scientists throughout the entire country to search for cures and to stay competitive with the rest of the world.
* The President's veto today is not in line with the hope that he created in 2001. His leadership at that time opened a critical door to some of the most promising research of our generation, and embryonic stem cell research will enhance and advance that vision of progress. I will be voting to override this veto and I urge my colleagues to do the same.