DeGette endorses Clinton, becomes adviser on stem cell research | AspenTimes.com

DeGette endorses Clinton, becomes adviser on stem cell research

George Merritt
The Associated Press
Aspen, CO Colorado

DENVER ” Colorado Democratic Congresswoman Diana DeGette endorsed Hillary Clinton’s presidential bid on Monday and said she will be a campaign adviser on stem-cell research policy.

Clinton’s campaign said DeGette will co-chair Clinton’s Health Care Policy Task Force.

DeGette has been leading proponent of federal financing for embryonic stem-cell research in hopes of curing such diseases as cancer, diabetes and Alzheimer’s.

DeGette’s endorsement makes her the first Democrat in Colorado’s congressional delegation to formally endorse a presidential candidate.

Among Colorado Republicans, Rep. Tom Tancredo is running for president and Sen. Wayne Allard is backing Mitt Romney.

DeGette was the chief sponsor of a bill to overturn President Bush’s ban on federally financed stem-cell research that Democrats pushed shortly after taking the majority in Congress in 2006. The override failed.

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“I admire Diana’s tireless commitment to unlocking the potential of stem cell research and expanding health care access for all Americans,” Clinton said in a written statement. “I’m honored to have her support and delighted she’ll help lead our efforts in Colorado.”

Last week, scientists announced a breakthrough on stem cell research that some considered as vindication for the president’s vetoes on stem-cell research.

The scientists said they made regular human cells match the healing potential of stem cells, sidestepping the ethical debate over harvesting stem cells from embryos ” the earliest stages of human life.

DeGette said last week the new research changed nothing and that the government should not favor one type of research over another.

“The argument that we need to have all types of ethical research is the argument that sways voters,” DeGette said last week. “The White House and the opponents of stem cell research have been saying for years that they think adult stem cells are substitutes. This is not a new argument that they’re making.”

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