It seems that New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has donated $100 million to support embryonic stem cell research. This is being touted in the media as somehow opposing President Bush’s embryonic stem cell policy (which provides federal funding only for stem cell lines already in existence on 8/9/01).
The opposite is actually true. The President’s policy upholds the Dickey Amendment, first enacted in 1996, that forbids the public’s money from being used in destructive embryo research. The Dickey Amendment holds that as a matter of federal policy, people who believe that destroying nascent human life is immoral should not be forced to pay for such experiments through their taxes. Private money has always been permitted in federal law to be applied to that purpose.
Thus, Bloomberg is actually materially supporting the President’s approach. The mayor thinks that ES cell research is so worthwhile that he’s willing to put real money into moving it along. President Bush will not lose a wink of sleep over this. It demonstrates that his policy, and more broadly, the Dickey Amendment, is actually working.