10 Jan Doyle says Congress should lift stem cell restrictions
Madison, Wis. – In a letter to members of Wisconsin’s Congressional delegation, Gov. Jim Doyle urged them to vote to lift president Bush’s restrictions on embryonic stem cell research and pass the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act of 2007.
The House of Representatives is expected to vote on the measure on Jan. 11.
Doyle, who has supported previous legislative efforts to lift the restrictions, said the bill, also known as HR 3, would lift current barriers on stem cell research that are “stifling the development of treatments and cures for a wide range of debilitating disease and conditions.”
There are more than enough votes in each house of Congress to pass the bill, but only the Senate may have the two-thirds required to override a presidential veto. Bush, citing ethical and moral concerns, vetoed a similar bill last year, but Democratic Party gains in the 2006 mid-term election make an override a more realistic possibility.
In the letter, Doyle indicated the legislation would expand scientists’ access to new, healthy, uncontaminated stem cell lines that are off-limits to federally funded research under the current restrictions.
Embryonic stem cell research is controversial because embryos are destroyed in the process of extracting stem cells.
• Bush vetoes stem cell research bill
• Senate approves bill to expand stem cell funding
• Doyle, WARF announce partnership to lure stem cell companies
• A brief timeline of the stem cell debate