Obama Signs Stem Cell Order

Posted March 9, 2009 at 11:52am

Updated: 1:30 p.m.

President Barack Obama on Monday signed an executive order reversing a policy by former President George W. Bush that banned the use of federal funds for research on new lines of embryonic stem cells.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) issued a statement saying Congress would move to make the executive order “the law of the land.”

Obama, who appeared at an event in the East Room, said the Bush policy had forced a “false choice— between science and moral values. “As a person of faith, I believe we are called to care for each other and work to ease human suffering,— he said.

The president called on Congress to provide more funding for embryonic stem cell research.

Obama also signed a memorandum aimed at “restoring scientific integrity to government decision making,— which he suggested was designed to remove political considerations from decisions related to science. The memorandum extends well beyond stem cells, including in its purview energy research and other types of science.

Among the Members on hand were Pelosi, House Energy and Commerce Chairman Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), and Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) and Orrin Hatch (R-Utah).