After the euphoria, reality bites. Singapore’s biopolis better watch out.
November 5, 2008
Stem Cells and Economic Stimulus Will Top Democratic Agenda in New Congress
Washington — In her first post-election speech today, Nancy Pelosi, the speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, said Democrats would move quickly on economic-stimulus legislation and a bill to relax federal restrictions on stem-cell research.
She also acknowledged that the nation’s economic struggles could put a crimp in the party’s plans, despite large gains in yesterday’s election. Democrats picked up at least 20 seats in the House, with some races still too close to call.
“Many of our options have been diminished because of the downturn in the economy over the last couple months,” she said.
Details of the stimulus package are still being negotiated, but colleges are asking lawmakers to include money for education and research. Democrats hope to take up the bill during a lame-duck session later this month.
Ms. Pelosi did not offer a time frame for the stem-cell bill, but mentioned it, along with a children’s health-care measure, as a “discrete piece” of the Democrats’ health-care agenda that could move quickly.
Congress has twice tried to relax President Bush’s restrictions on stem-cell research, passing bills that would allow scientists to conduct research on human embryos from in-vitro fertilization clinics that would otherwise be discarded, but the measures were vetoed by Mr. Bush.
President-elect Barack Obama has indicated that he would support the bill, and has promised to repeal Mr. Bush’s restrictions once he takes office. —Kelly Field