Following a plea from former First Lady Nancy Reagan, some Congressional republicans are considering relaxing restrictions on the controversial issue of stem cell research. Iowa Senator Tom Harkin, a democrat, says he’s all for expanded stem cell research but the measure is out of his hands.Harkin says “The republican leadership of the Senate now wants to take up a bill next week for a Constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage. Evidently they think that’s more important than passing expanded stem cell research which can save lives and really reduce the cost of health care in the future.” Harkin says he’s frustrated by partisan roadblocks on this type of issue. Harkin says “If President Bush said to the republican leadership, ‘I want to bring up the expanded stem cell research and get that passed,’ it would happen next week. Where is the leadership of this president? There is none on this issue.” Iowa’s other U.S. Senator, republican Chuck Grassley, said this week he -may- support a plan to expand stem cell research, but he’d only back a “narrow” compromise on the issue. Mrs. Reagan has asked for the research which could lead to a cure for Alzheimer’s Disease, which afflicted her late husband.
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