I just received an email from Senator Tom Harkin. I’ve decided to share it with you.
"George W. Bush has never vetoed a bill from Congress.▄ But today, he rejected the Senate bill I co-sponsored to offer full federal funding of embryonic stem cell research.▄
This decision is heartless.▄ It is an affront to science. And it demonstrates ignorance of the subject.
Joining Bush in his irresponsible opposition to this vital research are right-wing Republican senators like George Allen, Jim Talent, Jon Kyl and Conrad Burns, all of whom are up for reelection in November.▄ If not for these four, the Senate would have mustered enough votes to override George Bush’s veto.
America’s top scientists overwhelmingly believe that embryonic stem cells have the potential to create treatments and cures for some of the world’s most debilitating diseases.▄ The American public is right there with them; with two-thirds or more consistently saying they support embryonic stem cell research.▄ But George Bush would tell a person with Parkinson’s that scoring points with his political base trumps their right to possibly live without suffering.▄
Over the last few years, ultra conservative Republicans in the Senate and throughout the Bush administration have proven that they are completely in the thrall of the religious right.▄ Time and again, matters of urgent public health have been undermined at the behest of radicals who eschew scientific expertise in favor of fundamentalism.▄
Five years ago, President Bush handcuffed our researchers with his arbitrary decision to only allow research on a limited number of stem cell lines - which we now know are contaminated, and of limited efficacy.▄▄ While countries in Asia and Europe steam ahead in this promising new field of research, America is being left behind.
In the last few weeks, the U.S. Senate has united behind House legislation that would have reversed this misguided policy and provided an ethical and scientifically sound framework for research that could one day help millions of Americans who suffer from diabetes, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injury and other diseases.
In my 20 years in the Senate, my proudest moment was when I wrote and sponsored the Americans with Disabilities Act in 1990.▄ This legislation to expand stem cell research was equally important to me.▄ It breaks my heart that George Bush and a small cadre of Republican senators have destroyed hope for millions of Americans.▄
Our Senate bill would have allowed for research on stem cells derived from embryos left over from fertility treatments that would otherwise be discarded.▄ Radicals like George Allen would have you believe that extracting stem cells involves killing the unborn for the benefit of the living.▄ Nothing could be further from the truth.
The DSCC is leading the fight against the Allens, the Talents and the other right wingers who rigidly stand astride the currents of progress.▄ This November’s Senate elections offer a chance to end the Republican’s reign of ignorance once and for all.▄ Nothing is more important to the future of this country.▄
Sen. Tom Harkin"