November 24, 2017

Support Stem Cell Research

Even as the U.S. Court of Appeals recently announced the good news that NIH-funded human embryonic stem cell research (hESC) can continue for the time being, we believe it is critical that Congress act to ensure that federal funding for this important research is no longer vulnerable to political or ideological challenge.

Please contact your House and Senate representatives in strong support of H.R. 4808 in the House and S. 3766 in the Senate. Ask for representatives and senators to cosponsor and insist on passing these bills this year. Since nearly all Members of Congress are in their home states and districts right now, a big push to the district offices would be ideal.

As you know, during the 109th and 110th Congresses, the House and Senate both overwhelmingly passed bills explicitly authorizing the federal government to fund hESC research. Unfortunately, neither bill was signed into law, as President George W. Bush chose to veto them.

The 111th Congress must now act: we call on Congress to pass a bill this year that explicitly authorizes the National Institutes of Health to fund hESC research.

As Congress returns home until after the November elections, stem cell research advocates must reach out to their House and Senate members and urge them to support stem cell legislation. The Stem Cell Research Advancement Acts—H.R. 4808 in the House and S. 3766 in the Senate—would both codify President Barack Obama’s Executive Order ensuring NIH support for hESC research.

The two bills are not exactly the same, yet both bills provide a basis for protecting the NIH’s ability to continue to support the important scientific work that provides hope to millions of patients and their families. As the bills progress, they may be further improved. We cannot wait to make our voices heard, however. Our action must begin now and continue relentlessly until Congress passes important stem cell legislation.

We will continue to be in contact with you throughout the October recess, with advocacy updates and further requests. We cannot win without the full involvement of all you. And we must win.

Please act now.