Dear Faye:

We want to thank you for your efforts over these past few months in helping JDRF to pass H.R. 810, legislation to expand stem cell policy, in both the House and Senate. The progress we have made has been truly amazing! Now that the Congress has adjourned for the month of August, we also want to provide you with an update of where the issue currently stands and how you can continue to be helpful.

LEGISLATIVE UPDATE

Senator Frist Announces His Support For H.R. 810!

On July 29, in a speech on the Senate floor, Senator Bill Frist announced his full support for H.R. 810. Even though H.R. 810 was not brought to a vote in the Senate before the August recess, Senator Frist’s decision is a huge step forward in securing its passage. To be sure, though, significant work still remains to ensure that H.R. 810 is brought to the Senate floor for a vote when the chamber returns after Labor Day.

Bill to Ban Therapeutic Cloning Expected to Be Considered Along with H.R. 810

The Senate plans to consider a number of stem cell bills when H.R. 810 is brought up for a vote. One bill that could slow progress on stem cell research is S. 658, the Human Cloning Prohibition Act introduced by Senator Sam Brownback (R-KS). This bill would ban human reproductive cloning, which should be banned, but it would also ban somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT- often called “therapeutic cloning”) which provides researchers with another means to create stem cell lines. When scientists use SCNT to create stem cells, no sperm is used and the resulting cell has no chance of developing into a human being because it is never placed in a uterus. Scientists believe SCNT offers great therapeutic and research potential. For additional information on the SCNT issue, click here.

WE STILL NEED YOUR HELP!

It is vitally important to capitalize on our momentum on H.R. 810, and for the Senators to hear from their constituents while they are home during the month of August. Please use this opportunity to personally ask your Senators to support H.R. 810 but not allow any legislation to pass that would slow stem cell research. You can:

Write a letter to your Senators at their district office and urge them to vote in favor of H.R. 810 but not support any legislation that would slow stem cell research. In the next few days, you will receive a follow-up email directing you to our advocacy website, where you will be able to personalize a letter to your Senators, print them out, and send them. Please be on the lookout for this email message!!


Call your Senators at their district office, even if you called them on this issue already, and urge them to vote in favor of H.R. 810 and to oppose S. 658. Important note: Please see the talking points below to guide your conversation. Your Senators’ names and phone numbers are:


Bill Nelson (850) 942-8415
Mel Martinez (407) 254-2573



Arrange a meeting with your Senators at their district office. Call the phone number noted above and arrange a meeting at the district office closest to your home. Again, please see the talking points below to guide your meeting. If you are able to schedule a meeting and would like more detailed background information beforehand, you can contact Katie Kindelan in our office at kkindelan@jdrf.org.


Tell JDRF about your activities. Knowing what the congressional offices are telling you is critical. We need to hear from you.

It will only take a moment. After you complete an activity, please email Katie Kindelan in our office at kkindelan@jdrf.org with any feedback you receive
.
Key Talking Points:

As a constituent, I strongly urge Senator ___________ to support a vote on H.R. 810, the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act of 2005, with no amendments.

This bill passed the U.S. House in May, and would expand the current federal policy on embryonic stem cell research to allow for federal funding on stem cell lines that meet clear ethical guidelines, which is needed for scientists to explore the full promise of this research.

I also ask that Senator__________ oppose any legislation that would slow down stem cell research, such as S. 658, the Human Cloning Prohibition Act.

This act would ban human reproductive cloning, which I believe should be banned, but it would also ban therapeutic cloning which provides another means for researchers to get stem cells to study.

Explain your personal connection to juvenile diabetes/paralysis.

Embryonic stem cells have the potential to be used to treat and better understand juvenile diabetes.
I strongly urge Senator ____________ to support H.R. 810 but oppose S. 658 to move this important field of research forward.


Thank you in advance for your assistance with this campaign!
Sincerely,
JDRF Government Relations

Post Scripts:

MARK YOUR CALENDARS!

The Coalition for the Advancement of Medical Research (CAMR) – of which JDRF is a founding member - is organizing a national call-in day on Tuesday, August 9 to commemorate the fourth anniversary of the President’s policy announcement on embryonic stem cell research. CAMR will urge its advocates across the country to call the White House to urge the President to sign H.R. 810 when it reaches his desk. Please stay tuned to your email and the JDRF website for more information regarding the August 9 call-in day.