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Federal Spending On Stem Cell Research Will Resume Under President Obama

January 6, 2009

It is not a matter of if federal funding will again be allowed for embryonic stem cell research, but how funding will be restored.  Will it be by an act of Congress, or by an execative order from the President.  Either way science and sanity will return, which allow for progress to be made concerning this research.  As it should be.

Both President-elect Barack Obama and Democratic congressional leaders have made repealing Bush administration restrictions announced in 2001 a priority. But they have yet to determine if Obama should quickly put his stamp on the issue by way of presidential directive, or if Congress should write a permanent policy into statute.

Officials note that increasing federal spending on stem cell research is widely popular and has been a signature issue for congressional Democrats in the last two elections, helping them defeat Republicans opposed to the concept. Many lawmakers would like to see it through to its legislative conclusion.

In the end, Pelosi and representatives of the incoming Obama administration say it is likely that Obama will move quickly to roll back the Bush policy, with Congress following with a comprehensive initiative that addresses a more far-reaching federal provision limiting the scientific work.

That result would be welcomed by Representative Diana DeGette, Democrat of Colorado, an author of the stem cell measure twice vetoed by Bush – once in 2006 when Republicans still controlled Congress and again in 2007 after Democrats took over.

DeGette said her view was that Obama should act to hasten any new research rather than see a bill get tied up in the early days of the session. Congress can then draft its own, more detailed version providing money for new research and dealing with ethical issues surrounding the stem cell question. “I think we can do this in a win-win situation,” she said.

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