Senate Live - July 17, 2006
UPDATE July 18 @ 16:57
Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act of 2005 was
PASSED on a 63 - 37 vote.
GOP AYE votes: Alexander, Bennett, Burr, Chafee, Cochran, Collins, Frist, Gregg, Hatch, Hutchison, Lott, Lugar, McCain, Murkowski, Smith, Snowe, Specter, Stevens and Warner
I think the proponents of this make a grave moral error. I understand the rationalization, as in "dead anyway, may as well use it." I doubt I could phrase a counter argument that would change hearts or minds. The opponents tend to point to sucess in adult stem cell research as justification to avoid embryonic stem cell research (ESCR). My objection to ESCR isn't based on a comparison. I hold that ESCR is morally wrong.
But politically speaking, this issue is now off the Senate's plate.
Today and most of tomorrow will be the 12 hours of debate on the stem cell research package. The time for debate has been allocated, and the agreement recites "that no amendments be in order to any of the measures."
Mr. FRIST. ... I ask unanimous consent that at 12:30 p.m. on Monday, July 17, the Senate proceed to the consideration of S. 3504, S. 2754, and H.R. 810, as under the previous order. I further ask that the time be divided as follows:The agreement also sets up a supermajority requirement, 60 votes, to pass any of the bills, and that no Senator will submit another amendment or bill on the subject of stem cell research at any future time in the 109th Congress.
Monday: 12:30 to 1:00, majority; 1:00 to 1:30, minority; 1:30 to 2:00, majority; and 2:00 to 2:30, minority, continuing to rotate every half-hour until 8:30.
Tuesday: 10:00 to 10:30, majority; 10:30 to 11:00, minority; 11:00 to 11:30, majority; 11:30 to 12:00, minority; 12:00 to 12:15, majority; 12:15 to 12:30, minority; 2:15 to 2:45, majority; 2:45 to 3:15 minority; 3:15 to 3:30, minority leader; and 3:30 to 3:45, majority leader.
Further, I ask that at 3:45 the Senate proceed to three consecutive votes as the order provides. [S. 3504, S. 2754, and H.R. 810]
S.3504 should pass easily, the more contentious debate and vote will be between S.2754 and H.R.810. Summaries of the three bills as provided by Congressional Research Service ...
A bill to amend the Public Health Service Act to prohibit the solicitation or acceptance of tissue from fetuses gestated for research purposes, and for other purposes.
Amends the Public Health Service Act to prohibit any person or entity involved in interstate commerce from: (1) soliciting or knowingly acquiring, receiving, or accepting a donation of human fetal tissue knowing that a human pregnancy was deliberately initiated to provide such tissue; or (2) knowingly acquiring, receiving, or accepting tissue or cells obtained from a human embryo or fetus that was gestated in the uterus of a nonhuman animal. Imposes fines and/or imprisonment for violations of this Act.
A bill to derive human pluripotent stem cell lines using techniques that do not knowingly harm embryos.
Amends the Public Health Service Act to require the Secretary of Health and Human Services to develop techniques for the isolation, derivation, production, or testing of stem cells that are capable of producing all or almost all of the cell types of the developing body and may result in improved understanding of treatments for diseases and other adverse health conditions, but are not derived from a human embryo.
Requires the Secretary to: (1) provide guidance concerning the next steps required for additional research; (2) prioritize research with the greatest potential for near-term clinical benefit; and (3) take into account techniques outlined by the President's Council on Bioethics and any other appropriate techniques and research.
To amend the Public Health Service Act to provide for human embryonic stem cell research.
Amends the Public Health Service Act to require the Secretary of Health and Human Services to conduct and support research that utilizes human embryonic stem cells, regardless of the date on which the stem cells were derived from a human embryo, provided such embryos: (1) have been donated from in vitro fertilization clinics; (2) were created for the purposes of fertility treatment; (3) were in excess of the needs of the individuals seeking such treatment and would never be implanted in a woman and would otherwise be discarded (as determined in consultation with the individuals seeking fertility treatment); and (4) were donated by such individuals with written informed consent and without any financial or other inducements.
House Debate of May 24, 2005
The entertainment in this debate will be to predict which Senators will vote for Santorum/Specter S.2754, which will vote for H.R.810, and whether any Senator will vote in favor of both. Senators Burr, Collins and Inhofe are also co-sponsors on S.2754.
It is a common but false belief that Senator Frist recently "changed" his position with regard to embryonic stem cell research.
December 3, 2001 - MORATORIUM ON CLONING
Mr. FRIST. I strongly support embryonic stem cell research. As both a supporter and a scientist, I can tell you that this field remains in its earliest stages of basic research. At a hearing on stem cell research this fall, Secretary Thompson noted that clinical applications are years away. It is simply not the case that a ban on human cloning, particularly the temporary moratorium we are discussing today, would in any way harm the progress of stem cell research.
Mr. FRIST. At this point in the evolution of this new science, I believe there is no justification for the purposeful creation and destruction of human embryos in order to experiment with them, especially when the promise and success of stem cell research does not--does not--depend on the experimental research cloning technique. As my colleagues know, I am a strong supporter of stem cell--including embryonic stem cells--research, as long as that stem cell research is conducted within an ethical and moral framework.
UPDATE @ 18:15
Being Arlen Specter by Matthew J. Franck is a really good read, focused on Senator Specter's persistent "punting" of issues to the court, in this case the NSA/FISA issue. Mr. Franck links to an excellent essay, which I strongly recommend.
The Supreme Court v. the Constitution of the United States of America
Michael M. Uhlmann
The proposition that the federal judiciary is the fons et origo of constitutional meaning has in our time acquired the status of a religious conviction that only fools, cranks, or the impious would contest. The dogma of judicial supremacy draws added strength from two related beliefs, namely, that a written Constitution implies no less and that its roots can be traced to the American founding era. Did not the Great Chief Justice declare as much in his celebrated opinion in Marbury v. Madison (1803)?
The answer is that John Marshall did no such thing, notwithstanding that Marbury is commonly cited in support of the proposition. Judicial supremacy is in fact a thoroughly modern development that scarcely antedates the late 20th century. It was invented, not surprisingly, by the Supreme Court itself and asserted for the first time in Cooper v. Aaron, the 1958 Little Rock schools case. ...