More MS news articles for Aug 2001

Slim reaction from delegation on stem cells

Wednesday, August 14, 2001
By Melanie Fonder

WASHINGTON -The silence from the Wisconsin delegation on President Bush's stem-cell decision was deafening.

Perhaps it was just that members were in the midst of their August recess, which typically means a brief vacation followed by intense campaigning, but only two of the 11-member delegation even released a statement.

Both statements were written by Democrats critical of the move made by Bush, which allows federal funding for stem-cell research on existing stem cell lines.

Shortly after Bush's speech, Rep. Tom Barrett, D-Milwaukee, who is also running for governor, said there was a solid chance legislation supporting full federal funding would move through Congress, and that the Senate may be able to override a presidential veto.

"I am disappointed in the president's decision to limit the support of stem cell research.," Barrett said in his statement. "This decision may handicap the promising search for a cure for diseases such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, heart diseases, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, spinal chord injury and stroke. By issuing such restrictions, the president is stifling the potential for discovery and, in effect, imposing an obstacle to what many scientists believe is the most hopeful research of our time."

On Friday, Rep. Tammy Baldwin, D-Madison, released a three-line statement similar to Barrett's that urged for "medical science to aggressively pursue this promising research."