Maloney Supports Stem Cell Research Bill
WASHINGTON - Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (NY-14) made the following statement today after voting for the “Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act” (S.5), which passed the House, 247 to 176:
“The Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act is the latest endeavor by this Congress to pass meaningful legislation that will help millions of people suffering from a myriad of diseases.
“The bill would expand the federal funding of embryonic stem cell research by lifting the restrictions on the embryonic stem cell lines that can be used for federally-funded research – restrictions that were imposed by President Bush in 2001. Most of the stem cell lines authorized for federally-funded research under the President’s policy are now no longer useful for research. However, the bill only authorizes federal research funds for stem cell lines generated from embryos that would otherwise be discarded by fertility clinics. S. 5 also creates an ethical framework that must be followed in conducting this research under the guidance of the National Institutes of Health.
“Congress has voted in favor of expanding the number of stem cell lines eligible for federal funding, with strict ethical guidelines twice in the past year. It is time for the President to listen to the majority of Americans who want science to prevail and cures to be found with the promise of embryonic stem cell research.
“If federally funded, this research could help nearly 100 million Americans suffering from cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, spinal cord injuries, heart disease, ALS, and other devastating conditions. Put simply, embryonic stem cell research offers the greatest promise for developing treatments and cures.
“Today, there are only 21 embryonic stem cell lines that are available to federally funded scientists. This is a number that scientists confirm is insufficient and is negatively impacting medical advances in this country.
This bill is about saving lives and preventing devastating diseases from ravaging and ending people’s lives. As a founder and current co-chair of the Bicameral Congressional Caucus on Parkinson’s disease and as someone who lost my father to Parkinson’s disease, I know firsthand just how important this legislation is and how important it is to open up the stem cell lines.”
In 2002, Maloney introduced legislation to keep science at the forefront of stem cell research: http://maloney.house.gov/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=618&Itemid=61.