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. Charlie in Maine

    "GOP Lawmakers rip"

    Interesting headline. RIP: As a diabetes patient I am thrilled that we have a President who actaully listens to scientists. The Bush Error has come to an end. 80 % of America wants the ban lifted. That coresponds probably to the % of people who know some one who suffers from Alsiemers,Parkinsons,Diabetes,Spinal cord injuries and a host of other deseases. Some one (Maybe Nancy Reagan) has to remind them that most of the votes are in the middle of the spectrum and these outrages while they will get the Rupublicans in deep with the fringe will do nothing to appeal to the common sense of the average voter. By playing to the lunatic fringe of the right wing of the GOP they are gaining support that will be a mile deep but about an inch wide.

    Feel free to ignore me GOP but I beleive in a two party system and you are not holding up your side of the debate.

    March 9, 2009 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  2. maryam

    The opponents of Stem Cell research either have not been hit hard at home, a family member, their own illness or they are not obviously up to date with science and its new advances! They are hiding in church of denial! Once one of them gets an incurable illness, then all doors will open!

    March 9, 2009 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  3. reality in AR

    This is the future. Please people, pull you head out of the conservative sand. Stop being so afraid of science. You are in 2009 not 2019. If we're going to fund something, I would rather it be to save an actual human life – NOT FUND WARS!

    March 9, 2009 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  4. Angie in Pa

    BREAKING NEWS TO THE GOP

    No One cares what you think,say,believe. President Obama is giving the Majority of People what they want Alot of people Approve of this,Now get with the Program LISTEN TO THE PEOPLE And put a Sock in it!

    March 9, 2009 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  5. Kim

    Why is the media even wasting any airtime on the GOP? It's the same old whining – every day – just a different subject and I'm sure the majority is getting sick of hearing it.

    March 9, 2009 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  6. Scott, Tucson

    first of all the rethugs are not smart enough to understand what stem cell research really is, it is not abortion it is not killing embryos. These religious nuts are pro-war and pro-life, what irony. They care about unborn but not the born. Stem cells can be harvested without killing embryos.

    March 9, 2009 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  7. Marc

    gore not science – Global Warming is way well proven, but no matter how many proofs you are confronted with, you'll still deny it
    Bad economic decisions? Do you Gopers have any other proposition than 'Tax Cut', 'Tax Cut', 'Tax Cut'? He has, and by the way they are not very original, the rest of the world is (more or less according to every country) using the same strategy.
    Not to mention the old 'liberal = out of his mind, naive, easy to fool individual' saying...

    March 9, 2009 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  8. Angie in Pa

    Get Out of the 90s Gop The aborition Days are OVER! Get in the 21ST Century!

    March 9, 2009 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  9. dj

    republicans just want us american's to suffer. they don't believe in finding cures or fixing problems. they just want to dig the whole deeper. stem cell research is the road to finding cures

    March 9, 2009 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  10. Ellen

    According to news reports, at least two physicians claim to have cloned human life during the period of Bush's ban... What will prevent abuse of science is not legislative/executive prohibition, but strength of character. As usual, these whiners will criticize anything...

    March 9, 2009 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  11. thomas

    Responsible and reasonable birth control methods and consequent-based sex education would vastly reduce the number of abortions. Rigid rules and lies only produce rebellion.

    March 9, 2009 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  12. Gracie

    Republicans need to SHUT UP, they are always mouthing off about this or that and YET when they were in control they did what?????

    NOTHING, NOTHING, NOTHING.... not a peep came out of their mouths the entire time they were SPENDING, SPENDING, SPENDING and turning a blind eyes to the mess they KNEW they were creating. They are the highest PORK BARREL SPENDERS IN Washington, and it's mainly the SOUTHERN STATES!!! I find it funny, since Lindsey Graham, Richard Shelby, Governor Sanford, etc. ALL come from Southern states!!!

    When these GOP clowns continue to blame and play the victim over and over again, you have to wonder what EXACTLY is the GOP afraid of? I think the GOP is shaking in their boots at the thought of President Obama succeeding where they FAILED miserably!! That's what these jerks are AFRAID of, they are doing and saying everything to throw blame, but NEVER have any answers or solutions. Funny that huh?

    ONLY an idiot would believe these dick-heads didn't KNOW they were sending our country right into the toilet!!!!

    And we're suppose to believe anything coming out of their mouths?

    March 9, 2009 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  13. Ray Fisher

    For a party infamous for accomplishing only failure the GOP is certainly vocal on everything yet all show and no go hasn't gotten us nothing but pain from them. As Archie would say, Stiffle, Republican'ts!!!

    March 9, 2009 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  14. Mark

    This guy definitely represents a segment of the country that is out of touch.

    March 9, 2009 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  15. A tired American

    Surely there's a person in a coma somewhere that these Republicans can save from family members. Why don't the Republicans concentrate on working with the president and the Democrats in Congress to formulate legislation to run the government and country.
    Opps, I forgot – if they actually work on legislation they won't be able to cry about not being asked for their opinions.

    March 9, 2009 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  16. zivo24

    Republicans should try checking a poll on this issue before they go blathering to the media about it.

    The overwhelming majority of Americans support it.

    But republicans don't care about what the people think...they never have.

    March 9, 2009 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  17. Molly

    They're not the future because you crazy's turned the clock back! Another reason the GOP will fail.

    March 9, 2009 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  18. hangdogit

    Those who are so concerned about the destruction of human embryos that would be destroyed anyway, please...refuse to accept the life-saving breakthroughs that the stem-cell research produces if you need them. That would be morally consistent.

    March 9, 2009 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  19. susanspics

    My brother was fully engaged in medical research back in the early 2000's, until W came in and yanked out as much scientific funding as possible. His group of researchers, who presented both all over the nation and internationally, had some pretty promising results on a major disease. But to W and the far right, oh well! Put those results on the back burner FOR YEARS. Hundreds of thousands hold on to hope for a cure, while government tied the hands of the people who could get it done. Hope a loved one of your didn't develop it, because they didn't have real hope for a cure. Maybe today, they do again.

    March 9, 2009 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  20. keith a dewey

    So science wins again, what a concept. Logic, methods research, and study. What is this world coming to!

    March 9, 2009 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  21. Scott, Tucson

    arithmetic is liberal, you are funny! Kudos to your post. You said it right!

    March 9, 2009 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  22. Sniffit

    Can we say "one-issue voting"??? This, abortion and a couple other issues are purely used by the GOP to stir the pot and divide up the voting. I've got news for ya: you may get to play ping pong with executive orders on this issue if the GOP ever gains the WH again, but abortion is going to stay legal. Live with it.

    March 9, 2009 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  23. Make it So

    I would love to see a study of the average education level of those who oppose embryonic stem cell research and those who support embryonic stem cell research.

    Now imagine, if the medical discoveries and treatments that come out of embryonic stem cell research over the next 20 years were only available to those who supported it, we would be able to accelerate the process of natural selection. This country and others would be much better off!!!!

    March 9, 2009 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  24. Sniffit

    Yah, and believing in evolution is "turning back the clock" too. The only turning back of the clock that's been going on iin this country for the past century is the GOP trying to turn it into a theocracy and abuse the very foundations of our government by using the Congress to legislate morality. Our country was founded precisely on the premise that religious dogma should never be codified as secular law. If you don't like it, move to Iran...I hear they have a lovely theocracy.

    March 9, 2009 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  25. Willa

    More reprehensible is Boehner and company using their pseudo religious, moral "high horse" as a pretext for waging political warfare against President Obama.

    March 9, 2009 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
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