March 9th, 2009
04:25 PM ET
13 years ago

GOP lawmakers rip Obama over stem cell decision

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/03/09/art.csmith0309.cnn.jpg caption="Rep. Chris Smith held a Capitol Hill press conference about stem cell research Monday."]

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Some GOP members of Congress, including the top Republicans in the House and the Senate, blasted President Obama Monday for repealing a Bush-era policy that limited federal tax money for embryonic stem cell research, with one conservative lawmaker saying that the president is “turning the clock back.”

Watch: Smith speaks out on stem cell research

“I believe Barack Obama is turning the clock back and ten years ago, it sounded like embryonic stem cells were the future,” Republican New Jersey Rep. Chris Smith said on CNN. “They're not.”

Smith, an abortion opponent, opposes embryonic stem cell research on moral grounds. Last week, he called Obama an “abortion president.”

House Minority Leader John Boehner said Obama and Congress should instead focus on non-embryonic stem cell research, and that this decision “runs counter to President Obama’s promise to be a president for all Americans.”

“I fully support stem cell research, but I draw the line at taxpayer-funded research that requires the destruction of human embryos, and millions of Americans feel similarly,” Boehner said in a statement. “As we move forward, I am hopeful that the President will re-evaluate this and other controversial decisions that put government at odds with the sanctity of human life.”

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell called this 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,” McConnell said in a statement. “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.”

Updated 4:25 p.m.


Filed under: John Boehner • Stem Cell Research
soundoff (226 Responses)
  1. PSL Girl

    Who cares what you Repugnants think.....fillibuster proof coming for the Dems in 2010!

    March 9, 2009 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  2. MysteriousTraveller

    Hot news tip for the GOP...people are worried about keeping their jobs and homes not about abortion.

    March 9, 2009 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  3. Duane Smith

    All I have to say is.....................You go Mr. President!!!!! If there is any issue out there where the GOP is waaaaaaaaaaay out of touch, and there are more than a few, this is it!! It's funny for a conservative deride someone for wanting to "turn back the clock". Isn't that the overall theme of conservatism??

    March 9, 2009 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  4. Had It

    The GOP Rips everything if it doesn't put a few million bucks in THEIR pockets.

    They will lose even more next year. They are not FOR the USA, they are only for the Grand Obstructionist Party.

    March 9, 2009 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  5. Film Professor

    Yeah, well, you guys lost the election. 80% of Americans support Obama on this, including Nancy Reagan.

    I would call that a pretty major consensus for the actions that the President took today.

    March 9, 2009 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  6. Liz

    These are the same people who protested organ transplant 20 years ago. And who thought the Earth was the center of the Univers 500 years ago. 20 years from now they will be reaping the benefits of stem cell research and will have some other scientific break through to demonize. Or maybe they will still be arguing that global warming is still all in our heads?

    March 9, 2009 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  7. Steph

    John Boehner is complaining, again! Blah, blah, blah, wah, wah, wah.

    March 9, 2009 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  8. Llinda

    This is a shame and blot on America. Obama calls himself a Christian but has no regard for the sanctity of life. Embryonic stem cells show no promise and even if they did wouldn't justify killing. Yes, it IS killing.

    March 9, 2009 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  9. KD

    Actually he is being a president for all Americans considering that the majority actually support embryonic stem cell research (6 in 10 from the last poll).

    March 9, 2009 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  10. Brian Crooks

    Because he doesn't listen to a small minority of far right religious ideologues it means he's not being President to all Americans? Please. Last year, 60% of Americans supported embryonic stem cell research. These embryos will be destroyed one way or another, so why not try to save some lives and cure some diseases before then? They're created to help people that have trouble conceiving on their own. After the couple, or woman, successfully gets pregnant, the leftover embryos are destroyed regardless of what happens to their stem cells. They don't have heart beats or brains yet. They aren't people, and if we can save lives, we would be cruel not to.

    March 9, 2009 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  11. In Houston, TX

    hahahahahahahaha. NO REPUBLICANS NO!!!!
    you can not have your way. Religion should not control science. and you guys are just wrong...WRONG I SAY!!!

    March 9, 2009 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  12. Ron

    Who cares what the GOP thinks. Someone should clue them in, if they want to make the decisions they first have to win an election.

    March 9, 2009 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  13. Melissa

    Obama did the right thing.

    March 9, 2009 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  14. Laverne

    Why don't all these complaining republicans who have so much to say run for president and if they are lucky enough to win you can make your own policies, but until then shut you stupid flap because you are not running the White House, President is and he is doing what the people want and not what Washington want.

    March 9, 2009 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  15. dee

    Bohner is again attacking the President and the Democratic Party. I wish this man would offer an alternative plan rather than constantly attacking the Obama administration.Where was this man when Bush made all those stupid decisions. He only wants to lead the Republuican party and become speaker . I totally dislike this man.

    March 9, 2009 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  16. Susan from Scotts Valley, CA

    This is not turning the clock back 10 years. It's restarting a clock that has been stopped for 7 years.

    These embryos are being destroyed anyway. At least now, they can serve a greater purpose.

    March 9, 2009 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  17. PaulO

    John Boehner said that this decision “runs counter to President Obama’s promise to be a president for all Americans.”

    Well Mister Bonehead, 80% of Americans support stem cell research.

    Go Figure,,,, a leader of the Republicans that doesn't know what he's talking about. What a surprise....

    March 9, 2009 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  18. Kevin in Ohio

    It is beyond me why the left is incapable of seeing the moral ground here. To turn it around, I am sure the left would be very upset if the right favored spending tax dollars to summarily execute all dangerous convicted criminals.... all in the name of saving future lives.

    March 9, 2009 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  19. Aurrelie

    Count on the GOP to "turn the clock back". This is the 21st century and science is trying to help human life. We are no longer living in the Middle Age of the Bush era.

    March 9, 2009 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  20. Bob from Pittsburgh

    “”Republican New Jersey Rep. Chris Smith, an abortion opponent, opposes embryonic stem cell research on moral grounds.””

    Ludicrous..!!

    These guy talks about “”Moral Grounds”” where were his moral grounds when he agreed to send son a daughters to die on a war that was justified with lies? He wasn’t too prolife then, was he?

    He opposes Steam Cell research and he knows dildo about it. He rather put embryos in the garbage than to be used on research for a possible cure to millions. All because of ignorance and fanatical views based on his religion.

    These are the guys that have kept science 400 years behind times, the same guys are the ones that accused scientist of witchcraft and burned scientist at the stake, Don’t fool yourselves they may want to revive the practice..

    March 9, 2009 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  21. RAG

    Uh, no. He's turning the clock forward. From the 11th to the 21st century.

    March 9, 2009 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  22. tax all

    Why do my tax dollars have to pay for something that the drug companies are going to make money on?

    I’m all for stem cell research but only is it’s paid for by private funds.

    Leave my tax dollars alone.

    Obama is doing the right thing only if you like Marxist/Socialist economics; otherwise he’s doing very badly.

    March 9, 2009 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  23. Erika, KS

    Who cars what the GOP has to say? They only care about a human being before it's born, there after they just want to send it to war. The GOP is history.

    March 9, 2009 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  24. Robert

    This just shows how out-of-touch the GOP really is. All the polls show the vast majority supporting stem-cell research. Also, lets keep in mind that the Vatican itself under the last Pope said that the notions that life begins at conception and life begins at implantation are both correct. They simply chose the former as the formal policy.

    March 9, 2009 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  25. Wnbresn

    Its about time that Obama start reversing the anti-science policies of Bush and his forces of Stupidity. We've lost valuable time in the last 8 years.

    March 9, 2009 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
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