Campaign 2010

Jun 21, 2005

Rep. DeGette Continues Push for Stem Cell Bill Passage

DCCC Press

Jun 21, 2005

Rep. DeGette Continues Push for Stem Cell Bill Passage

Urges supporters to sign petition telling Bush to stop "squashing the hopes of millions" who would likely benefit from stem cell research.

Continuing its effort to push for federal action on potentially life-saving stem cell research, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) Tuesday reached out to hundreds of thousands of supporters through a message from Democratic Chief Deputy Whip Diana DeGette (CO-01) who, with Rep. Mike Castle (R-Del), led the fight for stem cell research expansion that overwhelmingly passed the House last month. The bill is currently stuck in the Senate, where Senator Sam Brownback (R-Kan.) has threatened to use the filibuster to prevent it from passing. If it does pass, President Bush has threatened to veto the bill.

In her message, DeGette stressed the need to pass this vitally important legislation, and urged supporters to sign a petition to President Bush demanding that he put an end to efforts to "squash the hopes of millions" who would greatly benefit from stem cell research.

"The public is fed up with the agenda of the Republican leadership and its clear lack of concern about the challenges facing ordinary Americans," Rep. DeGette said in her message. "This is a rare opportunity for Congress to do something that could lead to the saving of lives and making our nation -- even the world -- a better place."

Rep. DeGette continued by offering a heart-wrenching testimonial from Tanya Bennitt, who pled for the passage of stem cell research because of the hope it would bring to her stepfather, who spends his two days off from work caring for his paralyzed son and his mother, an Alzheimer's sufferer.

"I will fight for SCR expansion for many reasons, but for my step dad, Marty, in particular...To the opposition, I say come look at my step dad's mother, who has to be monitored constantly so she doesn't wander off...Look into the eyes of a woman who cries because she wants to go home to her mother, who's been dead for 50 years. Look at my step brother, a once strapping young man who is now withered, who has to fight to breathe on his own. Look at my step father, who deserves some good news, or at the very least... some relief from the worry that he could lose either of them at any moment. Look into his eyes and tell him there is no hope, because I cannot. This is for Marty."

This week's message from Rep. DeGette follows an email last week from Rep. Jim Langevin (RI - 02), who has been a quadriplegic since the age of 16 due to a tragic childhood accident. A pro-life Democrat, Rep. Langevin said in his message that being pro-life means fighting for policies that help people enjoy a longer and healthier life, a belief that he says is "consistent with embryonic stem cell research."

The DCCC launched its stem cell initiative two weeks ago with an email appeal supporters across the country from Rep. Lois Capps (CA-23). Rep. Capps called for a renewed push for the potentially life-saving research and asked for stories from real families across the country about why stem cell research is so important to them.

A recent poll shows that national, bipartisan support for stem cell research is overwhelming -- stem cell research has the support of 74% of all Americans, including 60% of Republicans (WSJ/Harris Interactive, 6/7/05).

In the coming weeks, the DCCC will continue its initiative, assisting supporters across the country in contacting their member of Congress and their local newspaper, to show their support for stem cell research.