One of my top priorities as a Member of Congress has been to expand the federal funding of responsible embryonic stem cell research. To accomplish this, I joined a group of my colleagues in introducing the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act, which was passed by Congress in 2006 and 2007, but was vetoed by President Bush on both occasions. This important legislation would expand the existing federal policy on embryonic stem cell research by lifting the August 9, 2001, cutoff date imposed by the Bush Administration. Under this legislation, research on new stem cell lines would be subject to all Federal ethical guidelines established by NIH. Research would be limited to those lines derived from excess embryos that would otherwise be discarded as a result of the in vitro fertilization process. Further, the bill clearly states that informed consent from the donors must be obtained and that the purchase and sale of embryos is prohibited.
Our government must foster American scientific innovation by supporting and overseeing further research into the promising field of both adult and embryonic stem cell research. I have pledged to work tirelessly as a voice for the millions of Americans suffering from diseases and chronic, disabling conditions for which this research holds the promise of new treatments or possible cures. We simply must provide our nation's scientists with the tools they need to realize the full potential of this groundbreaking research. This support represents the most noble activity in which our government can engage: the protection, promotion, and, indeed, affirmation of the lives of our most vulnerable citizens.
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