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PostWatch: An irregular correction to the Washington Post


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PostWatch
 

Wednesday, June 19, 2002
 
1:08 PM

Rep. Dave Weldon writes a letter to the Post challenging reporter Ceci Connolly's June 9 account of congressional stem-cell battles.

The story was about efforts by supporters of "therapeutic cloning" to get a bill backing their goals. Connolly wrote:

As both sides targeted the White House, Rep. David Joseph Weldon (R-Fla.) quickly and quietly brought a bill to the House floor that criminalizes cloning embryos, whether to create a baby or to extract stem cells for medical research....In just two hours, by a vote of 265 to 162, lawmakers approved the legislation, which also made it illegal for patients treated with a therapy from cloned embryo cells to enter the United States. "While we were busy watching one ball, an equally important ball was coming along," said Lucy Fisher, who co-founded the pro-research group CuresNow after her daughter Tessa Wick developed juvenile diabetes. "It sailed through the House with nary a peep. It was crushing."

Weldon writes today:

Really? My bill was the subject of three hearings, a subcommittee markup and a full committee markup. On June 7, 2001, the crime subcommittee held an oversight hearing. On June 19, 2001, the same subcommittee held a hearing on my bill and the competing bill introduced by Rep. James Greenwood (R-Pa.). Moreover, a hearing was held on June 20 in the energy and commerce subcommittee on health. This hearing received widespread attention in part because of testimony by Claude Allen, deputy secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, who spoke in favor of a ban on human cloning. From the time I introduced legislation until the vote, I picked up more than 100 co-sponsors and sent letters to many House colleagues encouraging them to support a ban on human cloning.

Weldon also cites a Post editorial and other publicly reported events, concluding:

If all this constitutes nary a peep, I stand corrected.



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