Background: Two years ago, the President signed the Stem Cell Research and Therapeutic Act into law (Public Law 109-129), a measure authorizing programs to promote the use of cord blood stem cells and bone marrow in research and treatment.
House: As reported from the House Appropriations Committee, the Fiscal Year 2008 Labor/Health and Human Services/Education Appropriations Bill (H.R. 3043) appropriated $4 million for the Cord Blood Program. On July 17, 2007, the House accepted by voice vote an amendment offered by Reps. Chris Smith (R-NJ) and Artur Davis (D-AL) to increase funding for the Cord Blood Program to the $15 million authorized level. Without the added funding, “the current grant recipients will have to dramatically scale back in their cord blood banking initiatives just as they’re ramping up,” Rep. Smith noted in the floor debate (CR H7949, 7/17/2007).
Senate: As reported from Committee to the floor, the Senate’s version of H.R. 3043 allocates
$12 million for the Cord Blood Program.
Conference: In conference committee, the Senate amount of $12 million was accepted. Both chambers approved the conference report.
Veto: On November 13, 2007, the President vetoed H.R. 3043, for reasons not related to pro-life. On November 16, 2007, the House failed to override.
Law: The Fiscal Year 2008 Labor/Health and Human Services Appropriations Bill was included in the omnibus Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2008 (H.R. 2764), cleared for the White House on December 19, 2007 and signed into law December 26, 2007 (P.L. 110-161). The amount appropriated in this measure was $9 million. “Provided further, That of the funds available under this heading, $9,000,000 shall be provided for the National Cord Blood Inventory pursuant to the Stem Cell Therapeutic and Research Act of 2005.”