Stem Cell Politics, House Vote, Puzzlement

The news that the US house will actually be voting on legislation to loosen restrictions on Federal embryonic stem cell research funding has some commentators puzzled:

Why would House leaders be ready to allow a vote on the question of expanding funding for embryonic stem cell research? This can only mean embarrassment for Bush, and surely they know that. I wouldn't be surprised to hear of the Senate holding such a vote, but the House leadership is generally far more reliably partisan.....

Ronald Bailey has his own theories on the move:

Republican know-nothings are apparently beginning to feel the heat from voters about stem cell research. The troglodytic Republican leadership has apparently agreed to allow a vote on the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act of 2005, according to the Washington Post. Basically, the act would allow federal funding of stem cell lines derived from leftover embryos donated by couples who have stopped their infertility treatments.

Why have our solons at last chosen to allow such a vote? Because they want to get re-elected. They've finally awakened to the fact that polls consistently show a majority of Americans favoring human embryonic stem cell research. The Post reports that a new poll finds that two-thirds of the public supports stem cell research.


I wonder how this bodes for Bush's attempts to ban therapeutic cloning research, if Congress, under his own party, is willing to legislate more money for embryonic stem cell research, given the strong tie between the two issues.

Posted by: Jay Fox at March 25th, 2005 11:12 AM
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