Congressional Research Service


Date of this Version



Published by Congressional Research Service,, RS21044


In August 2001, President Bush announced that federal funds, with certain restrictions, may be used to conduct research on human embryonic stem cells. Federal research is limited to “the more than 60” existing stem cell lines that were derived (1) with the informed consent of the donors; (2) from excess embryos created solely for reproductive purposes; and (3) without any financial inducements to the donors. No federal funds may be used for the derivation or use of stem cell lines derived from newly destroyed embryos; the creation of any human embryos for research purposes; or cloning of human embryos for any purposes. Legislation that responds to the limitations imposed by the President’s 2001 announcement has been introduced in the last two Congresses. During the 110th Congress, at least 10 bills, including the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act of 2007 (H.R. 3/S. 5/S. 997), have been introduced.