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March 21, 1993

The House approved an amendment to advance fetal tissue research to combat diseases such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's. The amendment was added to a National Institutes of Healthfunding bill that already contained language helping President Clinton lift a longtime ban on the research. It removed obstacles placed by anti-abortion lawmakers in the path of government-sponsored research involving fetal tissue transplantation.

Supporter Dan Glickman (D-Kan.) said, "in the area of diabetes, we probably will have a cure sooner rather than later because of research using fetal tissue."

Opponent Henry J. Hyde (R-Ill.) said, "I am all for fetal research" but only if done "in an ethical way" on fetuses resulting from involuntary abortion.

The vote was 253 to 173. A yes vote was to advance federally sponsored fetal tissue research. How They Voted Rep. Becerra (D): YEA Rep. Dixon (D): YEA Rep. Roybal-Allard (D): YEA Rep. Waters (D): YEA

Health Budget Freeze Rejected

The House rejected an amendment to freeze the $6.9-billion National Institutes of Health fiscal 1994 budget (above) at the previous year's level. The measure sought to save at least $1.7 billion.

Sponsor Doug Bereuter (R-Neb.) said the bill "is not just about health research legislation, it is a spending issue." Opponent Henry A. Waxman (D-Los Angeles) said "support for health research is a worthy legacy for the 103rd Congress. NIH is a national treasure."

The vote was 193 to 234. A yes vote was to freeze the new NIH budget at 1993 levels. How They Voted Rep. Becerra (D): NAY Rep. Dixon (D): NAY Rep. Roybal-Allard (D): NAY Rep. Waters (D): NAY

AIDS and Immigrants

The House endorsed a ban on the immigration of HIV-infected people to the United States. The non-binding vote urged acceptance of Senate-passed language writing the ban into the National Institutes of Health budget (above).

Supporter Gerald B.H. Solomon (R-N.Y.) said allowing HIV-infected people into the United States would "place healthy American citizens at higher risk (and) strain existing resources that already are overtaxed."

Opponent Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) said imposing the ban is "a scientific decision for the health profession to make, not a political decision for Congress."

The vote was 356 for and 58 against. A yes vote was to ban HIV-infected immigrants from the United States. How They Voted Rep. Becerra (D): NAY Rep. Dixon (D): NAY Rep. Roybal-Allard (D): NAY Rep. Waters (D): NAY Source: Roll Call Report Syndicate

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