“I am very pleased that Majority Leader Frist, after more than 13 months of waiting, has finally scheduled a vote next week on the legislation to alter the President’s failed stem cell research policy. For those suffering from Parkinson’s, diabetes, cancer, and other illnesses that could one day be cured, this day could not come soon enough.
This vote is the culmination of years of hard work, in which patients, advocates, and scientists have repeatedly urged the Senate to allow stem cell research to move forward. We have already waited far too long for this day.
I welcome this opportunity to reverse the President’s failed policy, under which all available stem cell lines are contaminated and useless. Passing H.R. 810 will allow promising research to move forward, using stem cell lines derived from embryos left over from in vitro fertilization clinics.
The House approved this bill on a bipartisan basis on May 24, 2005 by a 238-194 vote. And while we have waited for action by the Senate:
• 1.4 million Americans were diagnosed with cancer;
• 60,000 Americans were diagnosed with Parkinson’s;
• 11,000 Americans suffered spinal cord injuries; and
• 1.5 million adults were diagnosed with diabetes.
These are just new diagnoses – think of all the other Americans who continue to suffer from cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, spinal cord injuries, and other catastrophic diseases who could potentially be helped by stem cell research.
I also believe the time has come for President Bush to listen to 70% of Americans who support this lifesaving research. The millions of people suffering from catastrophic illnesses deserve more than the President’s first veto, which he has threatened if the Senate passes the legislation.”