Last week, the US House of Representatives passed legislation that will provide federal funding for stem cell research. C3: Colorectal Cancer Coalition believes that stem cell research holds promise for expanding medical breakthroughs, and we support legislation that will give the researchers the tools they need to fight cancer and other diseases. This is why we chose to add our name to a letter that was sent to the US Senate and House of Representatives last week. The letter was signed by over 500 patient advocacy groups, health organizations, research universities, scientific societies, and religious groups.
From the letter:
The legislation, HR 3, will allow the federal government to fund stem cell research that includes donor-approved excess embryos from in vitro clinics that have been donated by the patients specifically for research (which currently get discarded). This would expand the number of stem cells currently available to researchers.
From the letter:
The Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act is pro-patient and pro-research. A vote for the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act will be considered support of more than 100 million patients in the U.S. and substantial progress for research.
The bill will now proceed to the Senate and, hopefully, on to the President’s desk for signing. As you may recall, he vetoed similar legislation last year. We sincerely hope the President will consider the life-saving potential that stem cell research holds and will sign this legislation into law.
Also, as we told you in December, C3 was closely monitoring the appropriations situation currently facing Congress. In the first week of January, C3 was one of 200 organizations who signed onto a letter to the Democratic leadership calling on them to provide at least $7 billion above the President’s budget request for health, labor and education programs (including cancer research). The letter stated in part:
A full year continuing resolution for FY 2007 at the FY 2006 levels would leave these critical programs $2 billion short of the goal established by the full Senate when it adopted the Specter-Harkin budget amendment as well as the commitment made by the House leadership to significantly increase funding for these urgent priorities. Further, failure to meet these commitments would result in total funding for these programs $2 billion below the FY 2005 level.
We learned last week that the letter was well-received by the leadership in the House and Senate who oversee such funding. We are hopeful that, as Congress debates whether or not to increase funding and resources for one war that they will not forget that the war on cancer rages on.