First of all, the purpose of the stem cell bill is to expand the use of embryonic stem cell research and NIH-funded research in the United States. There's a great demand for cures and therapies for serious ailments, particularly Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and diabetes. The public is demanding every opportunity for scientists to find these cures and therapies.

A secondary reason in addition to the human side is the medical economic side. Many of these illnesses cause Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurance companies to pay out billions and billions of dollars.

These are some of the justifications.

There are different types of stem cells: adult stem cells, amniotic stem cells-which were brought up this week-and embryonic stem cells. Embryonic is the kind that offers the largest variety of cells that can be used for a variety of types of medical research, and unfortunately there has been a lot of confusing information spread about the types of embryonic material that would be used for stem cell research.

The key to this is that the only embryonic stem cells here that are being considered by laws are those that would otherwise be destroyed in in vitro fertilization because the families that created the material would never have a use for it.

The interesting debate on the floor today was "I'm pro life and I'm against embryonic stem cells" or "I'm pro life and I'm for embryonic stem cells." I believe that what we're doing is creating the opportunity for medical science to find the cures and therapies which will help prolong life in the United States and around the world.

If we can save lives and prolong and improve the quality of lives for Americans and other people around the world, I think we're doing a good thing.