Senate Passes Labor-HHS-Education Bill

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Labor-HHS-Education Bill

The Senate on Tuesday voted 75-19 to pass a fiscal year 2008 Labor-HHS-Education bill (HR 3043) after removing amendments related to human embryonic stem cell research and abstinence education, CQ Today reports.Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) removed an amendment that would haveprohibited federally funded abstinence education programs from using"medically inaccurate" information in their curricula.


Inaddition, Sens. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) and Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) last weekin a "conciliatory gesture" removed language that would have expandedhuman embryonic stem cell research, according to CQ Today (Wayne, CQ Today,10/23). Federal funding for embryonic stem cell research currently isallowed only for research using embryonic stem cell lines created on orbefore Aug. 9, 2001, under a policy announced by President Bush on thatdate. Bush has twice vetoed bills that would have allowed federal funding for research using new embryonic stem cell lines (Kaiser Daily Women's Health Policy Report, 10/18).

The House in July voted 276-140 to approve its version of the measure, which would increase funding for HHS' Community-Based Abstinence Education Programand for the Title X family planning program. The bill also would leavein place restrictions on federal funding for abortions and includes anamendment that would prohibit federal funds from being used by statesto require human papillomavirus vaccinations for school attendance (Kaiser Daily Women's Health Policy Report, 7/20).

TheSenate version of the bill would provide $1.9 billion less indiscretionary spending than the House version, and the bill now headsto a conference committee to resolve the differences. According to CQ Today, Bush has promised to veto the measure because it contains greater spending levels than he requested (CQ Today, 10/23).

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