Senate Democrats

REID PRAISES PASSAGE OF HR 810, PROGRESS FOR STEM CELL RESEARCH

Calls on President to heed majority of Americans and sign important legislation

Washington, DC — Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid today praised the passage of H.R. 810, critical legislation that opens up the promise of embryonic stem cell research for millions of Americans who suffer from debilitating illnesses. Democrats have fought for months to cut through divisions and delays in the Republican Congress and pass this important new bill.

“Today is a day of hope for millions of Americans,” said Reid. “Despite so many delays, and through the persistence of Democrats, the Senate has finally taken an important step forward on stem cell research. Finally, thanks to Democrats, this Senate has worked on an issue of critical importance to the American people.”

More than fourteen months after the House of Representatives passed HR 810, the Senate has finally thrown its support behind legislation that has the support of the scientific community and the overwhelming majority of the American people. Unfortunately, President Bush has announced that he will ignore the will of the country, deny the hopes of millions of suffering Americans, and use the first presidential veto of his Administration to block this important bill.

Democrats believe government should put sound science before ideology and America’s future ahead of partisan political concerns. Senator Reid called on Congressional Republicans to demonstrate their support for HR 810 by convincing the president not to make such a grievous error.

“The President should listen to Nancy Reagan, Michael J. Fox, and to the millions of Americans who support this critical legislation,” said Reid. “America has waited too long as this president put political ideology ahead of sound science. I hope Republicans like Senate Majority Leader Frist, who say they support embryonic stem cell research, will tell the president to sign it.”

Today’s vote is the first to tackle a list of critical issues Democrats believe must be taken up before the August recess. In addition to stem cell research, Democrats have called for a Congress that has spent too long on partisan concerns to address the Voting Rights Act, gas prices, college affordability, and an honest debate on Iraq.

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