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“It’s a difficult area. Whether we’ve had Democrat or Republican congresses or administrations, Congress has stuck to putting Dickey-Wicker in,” said Dr. Prentice. “Even President Obama signed off on it in last year’s budget.”
An alternative would be to pass legislation to override Dickey-Wicker. Such a bill could be one introduced earlier by Rep. Diana DeGette, Colorado Democrat, which would codify the current NIH regulations on embryonic stem cell research grants.
Then again, Congress may hesitate to take on stem cell research in an election year. Democrats are projected to lose seats in the House and Senate, and lawmakers may prefer to avoid throwing red meat to the Republican Party’s conservative base before Nov. 2.
The problem is, if Democrats lose their majorities in one chamber, their chances of jettisoning Dickey-Wicker drop precipitously.
“You’re getting into a very sensitive area when you start talking about human life,” said Debi Vinnedge, executive director of Children of God for Life. “I would be shocked if they mess with this before November. And then after November, I don’t think they have a prayer.”
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About the Author
Valerie Richardson covers politics and the West from Denver. She can be reached at email@example.com.
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