On 11 January 2007, the House of Representatives passed the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act (HR 3) by a vote of 253-174. The legislation, sponsored by Representatives DeGette (D-CO) and Castle (R-DE) would allow the use of federal funds for research on human embryonic stem cell lines derived from surplus embryos at in-vitro fertilization clinics. Currently, federal funds only support research using embryonic stem cell lines created before 9 August 2001. The limitations on stem cell research were established by a Presidential Executive Order. The Senate is expected to take up its version of the legislation (S 5), sponsored by Senator Harry Reid (D-NV), in the near future. The President has promised to veto embryonic stem cell legislation, and the House was short of the two-thirds majority needed to override a veto when it passed the bill. Thus, the issue of stem cell research will likely remain active throughout the 2008 presidential election.

 


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