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Stem Cell Bills Set to Be Debated in Senate

Written by on Monday, April 9th, 2007

Reuters is reporting that two stem cell bills are set to be debated in the Senate when it returns tomorrow.

According to Reuters, the first bill is virtually identical to one that was vetoed by President Bush last year expanded and encouraged federal funding of human embryonic stem cell research.

The second is  a compromise measure worked out by Republicans Sen. Johnny Isakson of Georgia and Norm Coleman of Minnesota.

Reuters reports as follows:

[The bill] would encourage stem cell research on embryos that have naturally lost the ability to develop into fetuses, such as those that have died "naturally" during fertility treatments. 

The compromise bill also would support the creation of a bank of stem cells taken from amniotic fluid and placentas — two recently discovered potential sources.

This bill replaces last year’s alternative sponsored by Kansas Republican Sam Brownback, which would ban human embryonic stem cell research and encourage research using other types of stem cells.

Will the outcome of these bills be any different year than last , given the Democratic-controlled Senate?  I must say that I have my reservations.  My suspicion is that even if the bills are voted into law, President Bush will veto them.   Surely, the Senate recognizes that this will be the likely outcome.  Is this really a good use of their time and resources?

Having said this, the compromise bill is likely to receive more support  from the American public, given its focus on embryos that have naturally lost the ability to develop into fetuses.  Time will tell if this makes any difference.



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