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Cloning and Stem Cell Bills Set To Be Up For Senate Debate | Valerie Schmalz | July 16, 2005

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Senate Republican and Democratic leaders are negotiating a Senate floor debate that would allow votes on these bills, without amendment of the bills, but with a 60-vote majority required for passage. One Senate aide said this would be the first serious bioethics debate since a debate on a human cloning bill in 1998. At this point, it appears the debate will go forward before the Senate adjourns for the August recess, but the deal was not finalized as of this writing (July 15, 2005).

1). Broadly expanded taxpayer funding for embryonic stem cell research. H.R. 810. (Search here.)
Would allow federal research funds for experiments used "discarded" in-vitro fertilization embryos, past and future. H.R. 810 passed by the House 238-194. House bill sponsored by Delaware Republican Rep. Michael Castle. Senate version sponsored by Sens. Arlen Specter, R-PA, and Tom Harkins, D-Iowa.

2). Funds the Cord Blood Stem Cell Act of 2005. S. 1317/ (Search here.)
Bill would authorize $15 million in federal funds during fiscal year 2006 and as needed through fiscal year 2010 to subsidize Cord Blood Banks. Passed by the House 431-1. Sponsored by Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah.

3). Human Cloning Ban would prohibit human cloning, effectively ending embryonic stem cell research based on cloning nationally. S. 658. (Search here.)
A version has passed the House twice. Sponsored by Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kansas, and Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-Louisiana.

4). Chimera Ban. Prohibits creation of human-animal hybrids. S. 1373. (Search here.)
Would prohibit the most egregious human-animal hybrids: the monkey with the human brain, the mouse with human reproductive organs. It would prohibit the creation of human embryos with human eggs fertilized by animal sperm or vice versa. Would prohibit the inserting of a human nucleus into an animal egg. Sponsored by Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kansas.

5). Enact President Bush’s federal funding restrictions for embryonic stem cell research into law but would change the effective date. No bill number.
This bill, proposed by Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas, but not yet introduced, would transform the funding restrictions from an executive order into law but would change the effective date for the use of embryos to the date the bill is signed. May not be included in the Senate debate.

6). Embryonic Stem Cell Research Alternative–Seeks to obtain embryonic pluripotent stem cells without killing human embryos. No bill number.
Not introduced yet. Likely primary sponsors Majority Leader Bill Frist, Sens. Mike Enzi and Rick Santorum. This would direct federal funding to research aimed at discovering non-embryo destructive ways to develop human pluripotent stem cells.

Also see the following IgnatiusInsight.com articles:

FEATURE: Does Pro-Life Cloning Exist? The Debate Rages On | Valerie Schmalz | June 16, 2005
Cloning and Stem Cells: Definitions of Key Terms
| Valerie Schmalz | July 16, 2005

Valerie Schmalz is a writer for IgnatiusInsight. She worked as a reporter and editor for The Associated Press, and in print and broadcast media for ten years. She holds a BA in Government from University of San Francisco and a Master of Science from the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. She is the former director of Birthright of San Francisco. Valerie and her wonderful husband have four children.

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