Murphy Brings Connecticut's Commitment to Stem Cell Research to Washington
"One hundred million Americans are affected by some kind of debilitating or life-threatening disease. Somewhere in this vast universe, a cure for their disease exists. I know it. We all know it. Let's stop putting up man-made barriers to finding that cure, to curing our loved ones," said Murphy on the floor of the House.
In 2005, Murphy authored and passed Connecticut's historic Stem Cell Investment Act, a bill that he had introduced in the previous year. The legislation, which invested $100 million over ten years into embryonic and adult stem cell research, became the nation's first law directing state funding to life-saving stem cell research.
"I decided to seek a seat in this Congress because our action in Connecticut was ultimately hamstrung by inaction here in Washington. Stem cell research - the investment in potential cures and treatments to our world's cruelest diseases - must be a national priority," said Murphy.
Under the President's policy, most of the stem cell lines authorized for federally-funded research are now no longer useful for research. However, the bill only authorizes federal dollars for stem cell lines generated from embryos that would otherwise be discarded by fertility clinics. The bill also creates an ethical framework guided by the National Institutes of Health that must be followed in conducting this research.
"When we talk about the sanctity of human life, we all too often neglect the things we can do to protect and extend the lives of our friends and loved ones who suffer from terminal and debilitating diseases. This bill, perhaps more than anything, is about extending and preserving life," said Murphy.
The bill is supported by more than 500 organizations, including the American Medical Association, Association of American Medical Colleges, AARP, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, and many faith-based groups.
The House had passed a similar bill 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.