Improving Health Through Stem Cell Research

Mr. SCHIFF. Mr. Speaker, it is a momentous event when a president vetoes a bill. It is a pronouncement that the lawmaking body of our federal government is in error and that the difficult lawmaking process has produced legislation not worthy of enactment. For the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act of 2005, nothing could be further from the truth. I was proud to have voted for H.R. 810 when it first came to the House Floor for a vote in May 2005, and I am proud today to vote to override the President's veto--the first veto of his Administration.

A broad spectrum of lawmakers from both parties and all regions of the country recognize the extraordinary opportunity that stem cell research presents to treat and cure tragic diseases afflicting millions of Americans. Some of these potential treatments were only dreamt about a generation ago. Alzheimer's, paralysis, Parkinson's, diabetes--the list of possible applications for stem cell research goes on and on. For some of the victims of these diseases, stem cell research provides the only present hope for a cure. To use the President's first and only veto to effectively deny these citizens of their best hope is as tragic as it is wrongheaded. H.R. 810 carefully ensures that this research is conducted in a manner consistent with the highest ethical standards.

There have been numerous times in history when a chief executive has denied the progress of science. We mark these times as setbacks for humanity, and we also recognize that in many cases, progress was only delayed, not curtailed. Despite the setback of this veto, the struggle will continue--both the struggle for Americans seeking to overcome disability and disease, and the struggle to support the scientific community in its quest to find the effective cures and treatments. I am confident that the American people will not allow this veto to forever impede the progress of science.