THE ISSUE OF FEDERAL FUNDING FOR EMBRYONIC STEM CELL RESEARCH -- (House of Representatives - May 24, 2005)
(Mr. BURGESS asked and was given permission to address the House for 1 minute and to revise and extend his remarks.)
Mr. BURGESS. Mr. Speaker, we are going to take up a bill this morning that would greatly expand Federal funding for embryonic stem cell research, and that is the issue this morning, the issue of Federal funding for this process. The question is, are we going to use taxpayer dollars for destruction of human embryos in order to further a certain line of research?
President Bush in 2001 outlined his policy. There are 78 stem cell lines available at the National Institutes of Health available for study. Today's bill would in fairness expand those lines but would do so at the expense of human embryos that would be human embryos destroyed with taxpayer dollars.
Mr. Speaker, there is no prohibition on any couple who has an embryonic at an IVF clinic, at a reproductive endocrinologist clinic, who wishes to donate that embryo to a private lab for development into a stem cell line. That can happen today. There is no such prohibition.
But, Mr. Speaker, the issue today is whether or not we are going to use taxpayer dollars to fund that process. I believe the President had it right in 2001. It was correct to put parameters and boundaries around this research.