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« Obama Invokes Faith During Stem Cell Announcement | Blog Home Page | Still Walking And Chewing Gum ... »

House GOP Leaders Denounce Stem Cell Order

"In recent years, when it comes to stem cell research, rather than furthering discovery, our government has forced what I believe is a false choice between sound science and moral values. In this case, I believe the two are not inconsistent."

That's what President Obama said this morning in announcing his executive order for federal funding of embryonic stem-cell research, as Mike detailed earlier. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid agreed with Obama, stating today that "our most promising scientists have been forced to work with one hand tied behind their backs" since President Bush took office in 2001.

House Republican leadership -- not surprisingly -- has come out quickly against the move, with Republican Whip Eric Cantor calling it a distraction from the country's economic problems and GOP Leader John Boehner saying it's "further dividing our nation at a time when we need greater unity to tackle the challenges before us."

Both Cantor, in a CNN interview, and Boehner, in a press release, cited their moral opposition to this as well.

"Frankly, federal funding of embryonic stem-cell research can bring on embryo harvesting, perhaps even human cloning that occurs," Cantor said on CNN's "State of the Union" yesterday. "We don't want that. That shouldn't be done. That's wrong."

"Indeed, science and respect for human life can coexist," Boehner said, after noting last week that he does not oppose federal funding for non-embryonic stem-cell research. "Politicians in Washington would be well-served to recognize this fact before they ask taxpayers to subsidize the destruction of innocent human life simply to advance a particular agenda."

UPDATE: Click through to read what Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell had to say about the executive order.

Nancy Pelosi:

"By lifting the executive ban on federal funding for stem cell research, President Obama has given hope, and potentially health, to millions. Every family in America is just one diagnosis, one phone call, or one accident away from needing the benefits of embryonic stem cell research.

"Today President Obama has also restored science to its rightful place in our national debates. Scientists must be allowed to pursue the research that they believe has the most promise to cure. And when they do, America remains a world leader in innovation, discovery, and growth.

"If we have a scientific opportunity to treat and cure disease, we have a moral opportunity to support it. That is why Congress will move to pass legislation to make this executive order the law of the land."

Mitch McConnell:

"The administration's announcement on embryonic stem cell research represents a troubling shift in U.S. policy. With this announcement, the government is, for the first time, incentivizing the creation and destruction of human embryos at the expense of the U.S. taxpayer. I support biomedical research and I believe the administration would be far better served by directing taxpayer funds to research on non-embryonic stem cells, which is both effective and ethical."