>Perhaps this article, written by an Associated Press writer, should be receive the Yellow Brick Award. (Should I put “copyrighted” here? No, there’s others, although most – like the award for finishing the obstacle course at Quantico – are awards for achieving the impossible, not for misdirection.)
Someone is practicing distraction and projection by calling a vote in the Texas House State Affairs Committee a “Sneak attack.”
Friday’s vote came after a committee meeting that began Thursday and lasted through the night. Critics said the vote came hours after testimony concluded and while the committee was focused on an unrelated bill.
“Those of us who rely on the hope stem cell research holds, and anyone who cares about an open public dialogue, should be outraged at the manner in which the vote was taken on Friday afternoon — without discussion and while two members opposed to the bill were absent,” said Judy Haley, president of Texans for the Advancement of Medical Research.
Kathy Miller, president of the Texas Freedom Network, called the vote’s timing a “sneak attack.”
“It’s a shameful case of putting politics ahead of science as well as patients and their families,” she said.
The bill, HB 225 by Ken Paxton (R – District 70, McKinney)reads as follows:
By: Paxton, Olivo, Christian, Chisum, Parker, H.B. No. 225 et al.
A BILL TO BE ENTITLED AN ACT
relating to prohibiting the use of state money for certain
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
SECTION 1. Subtitle H, Title 2, Health and Safety Code, is amended by adding Chapter 169 to read as follows:CHAPTER 169. BIOMEDICAL RESEARCH
Sec. 169.001. PROHIBITION ON USE OF STATE MONEY FOR CERTAIN BIOMEDICAL RESEARCH. A person may not use state money for biomedical research if federal law prohibits the use of federal money for that research on January 1, 2007.
SECTION 2. This Act takes effect September 1, 2007.
For those of us who object to embryonic stem cell research, the bill serves the purpose of preventing our tax dollars from being used to destroy embryos whether from existing in vitro embryos or from purposeful creation of new embryos for the purpose of research, including cloning or parthenogenesis.
And for the fiscally responsible, the bill ensures that any research we pay for will be eligible for additional Federal research funds, and/or we won’t spend money on redundant labs and equipment.
The House was in session until nearly midnight last Thursday, and began hearing testimony on HB 225 about 1 AM. They were in session, hearing about stem cells and cloning, until 5:30. (I had to work on Friday, so I went home at 1, and didn’t get to testify.) The Committee met again on Friday: for a few minutes at 8 AM and again after the House adjourned for the day. The Chair, Representative David Swinford (R- 87th District, Amarillo), was a little punch drunk from being up all night – the maximum amount of sleep he could have gotten if he’d stayed at the Capitol would have been about 2 hours.
Representative Swinford made an effort to make sure that the members were present, and all were at certain points. However, the Committee members came and went both Thursday night and Friday. In fact, Representative Farrar (D-148, Houston) didn’t attend Thursday’s meeting at all, and Chairman Swinford reminded her on Friday that she probably wanted to “vote against this bill.”
It’s possible to watch both Committee meetings on line.