Page URL:

US stem cell bill stalls in Senate

25 July 2005
By BioNews
Appeared in BioNews 318

The bill to expand federal funding for stem cell research in the US looks unlikely to come to a vote this week before the summer recess. The bill was passed easily by the House of Representatives in May, and a similar success was expected in the Senate, perhaps with enough support to override President Bush's promised veto.

Currently in the US, public money can only be used to fund embryonic stem cell research on cell lines created before August 2001, even though those lines are less effective, as they are contaminated by the mouse 'feeder' cells that were used to create them. The new legislation would allow funding for research carried out on left-over embryos from IVF which would otherwise be discarded.

Republican Senator Arlen Specter, one of the sponsors of the bill, is blaming Majority Leader Bill Frist's last minute 'stalking-horse alternatives' for the delay. Six other stem cell bills, proposing 'alternatives' to ES cells have been introduced, which supporters of the bill claim are attempts to confuse the issue and draw support away from the main bill. 'I think there has been an effort to obfuscate the House-passed bill with a collection of other bills', said Senator Diane Feinstein, a Democrat and leading advocate of the research.

Specter is now threatening to try a different tactic to get the legislation through. If the vote does not happen this week, he may add the wording to the appropriations bill for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). As chairman of the sub-committee overseeing HHS appropriations, Specter is in a position to add the stalled bill as an amendment. 'I don't like to put it on an appropriations bill, but we waited long enough', he told reporters in Washington.

Frist's aides have said that the Senator is still committed to his promise to bring the bill to a vote, but have admitted that it is unlikely to happen before the break.

Specter threatens an end run to get vote on stem cell bill
The Washington Post |  22 July 2005
Stem cell bill stalls in senate
Wired News |  22 July 2005
18 April 2006 - by BioNews 
Prospects of the US passing a federal bill in support of all forms of stem cell research seem to have stalled, with a busy legislative timetable and lack of agreement on the issues to blame. Last year, Congress seemed like it had successfully reopened the debate on stem cell research...
19 December 2005 - by BioNews 
The US House of Representatives has passed a bill (HR2520) by 413 votes to zero that would authorise $79 million of federal funds for the collection and storage of umbilical cord blood. The new Cord Blood Stem Cell Act 2005 was previously passed by the Senate and now goes to...
21 October 2005 - by BioNews 
Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist has proposed postponing until 2006 a vote on a bill that would expand federal funding for human embryonic stem (ES) cell research. The Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act 2005 would, if passed, allow funding for scientists to conduct ES cell research on embryos left over...
7 October 2005 - by BioNews 
A Wisconsin University-based research group, WiCell, is set to host the first federally-funded US bank of human embryonic stem (ES) cells. The National Stem Cell Bank will house many of the ES cell lines approved for use in research paid for by the government, the National Institutes of Health (NIH...
23 September 2005 - by BioNews 
Florida may be the next US state to fund embryonic stem (ES) cell research, under a proposed constitutional amendment put forward by the group Floridians for Stem Cell Research and Cures (FSCRC). The proposal would allocate $200 million over ten years to the research and its backers say the language...
18 July 2005 - by BioNews 
A new US bill that proposes funding research into alternatives to human embryonic stem (ES) cells is gaining support, and could take votes away from bill HR810, which proposes expanding federal funding for ES cell research. The new bill, HR3144 - introduced by Republican Senator Roscoe Bartlett - proposes $15 million a...
4 July 2005 - by BioNews 
Supporters of a US bill to extend federal funding of research on human embryonic stem (ES) cells are predicting a victory when it is debated by Senators later this month. More than 60 are expected to vote in favour of the legislation, say its proponents - although President Bush has pledged...
20 June 2005 - by BioNews 
Senators in the US will start to debate a bill on the issue of human embryonic stem (ES) cell research next month. A bipartisan group of senators is campaigning to persuade President Bush to relax his policy on the research. Bush, who opposes any research that would involve the destruction...
26 May 2005 - by BioNews 
The US House of Representatives has approved a bill that would overturn President Bush's current policy on human embryonic stem (ES) cell research. Members of the House voted 238-194 in favour of the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act of 2005, which was sponsored by Michael Castle and Dianne DeGette...
to add a Comment.

By posting a comment you agree to abide by the BioNews terms and conditions

Syndicate this story - click here to enquire about using this story.