Menendez, Lautenberg Push for Stem Cell Vote

Menendez, Lautenberg Push for Stem Cell Vote

Lawmakers urge vote on stalled bill to expand stem cell research

Washington - United States Senators Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ) today joined 38 colleagues in urging the Republican leadership to call a vote on critical stem cell legislation. In a letter to Senator Majority Leader Bill Frist, lawmakers said the legislation, the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act, would end restrictions currently placed on stem cell research, thereby expanding the hope and promise of finding cures and therapies for spinal cord injuries, Alzheimers disease and other illnesses. President Bush has threatened to veto this legislation.

"We must do all we can to realize the promise of stem cell research", Menendez said. "Cures for Parkinsons disease or Alzheimers disease could be just around the corner. Bringing this legislation to a vote will also bring hope to the millions who suffer from debilitating disease and for those who love them"

"Stem Cell legislation could someday help those who are paralyzed walk again, or those who suffer from diabetes live longer lives, but President Bush and the Republican leaders stuck this bill in a drawer to appease the religious right", said Senator Lautenberg.

The Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act would allow federal support of research that uses human embryonic stem cells regardless of the date on which the stem cells were derived from a human embryo, thus negating the Bush stem cell policy limitation on existing stem cell lines. A similar bill has passed in the House of Representatives, but Senator Frist has refused to allow a vote in the Senate. President Bush has threatened to veto the legislation.

Stem cell research has vast potential for curing diseases and saving lives, the lawmakers wrote. We know you recognize the enormous potential of this research for discovering new cures and therapies for diseases such as diabetes, Parkinsons disease and spinal cord injuries, and we commend the strong support you have expressed for approval of the House-passed bill.

By allowing H.R. 810 to be brought to a vote, you can bring hope and help to millions of American patients and families suffering from these and other serious illnesses.