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Legislative Update

May 2004


Education and Research Programs at the NIH

  • A resolution expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that there is a critical need to increase awareness and education about heart disease and the risk factors of heart disease among women (H. Res. 522)
  • Stroke Treatment and Ongoing Prevention Act (H.R. 3658)
  • Trauma Research and Access to Urgent Medical Attention Act of 2004 (H.R. 3999)
  • Closing the Health Care Gap Act of 2004 (S. 2217)

Organ and Tissue Donation

  • Organ Donation and Recovery Improvement Act (P.L. 108-216)
  • A bill to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (H.R. 4042)
  • Other bills and resolutions related to organ and tissue donation

Stem Cell Research

  • Stem Cell Replenishment Act of 2004 (H.R. 3960)
  • Other bills related to embryonic stem cells, therapeutic cloning, and somatic cell nuclear transfer technology

Nutrition, Obesity, and Physical Activity

  • Improved Nutrition and Physical Activity (IMPACT) Act (S. 1172)
  • Personal Responsibility in Food Consumption Act (H.R. 339)
  • Other bills and resolutions related to nutrition, obesity, and physical activity


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Education and Research Programs at the NIH

A resolution expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that there is a critical need to increase awareness and education about heart disease and the risk factors of heart disease among women

Number: H. Res. 522
Sponsor: Representative Vic Snyder (D-AR)
Latest action: Passed by the House on March 24, 2004.
Highlights: Commends the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and First Lady Laura Bush for The Heart Truth campaign.

Stroke Treatment and Ongoing Prevention Act

Number: H.R. 3658
Sponsor: Representative Lois Capps (D-CA)
Latest action: House Energy and Commerce Committee submitted Report 108-453 on March 30, 2004.
Highlights: Would expand the current duties of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to include

  • developing and running a public education campaign about stroke. The legislation includes a stipulation that the campaign should not overlap with ongoing Federal activities (e.g., the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke "Know Stroke" campaign).
  • establishing and maintaining a national registry and clearinghouse to coordinate analysis of stroke treatments. The bill also would allow the Health Resources and Services Agency (HRSA) to award grants for the training of medical personnel, including emergency medical professionals, about treatments for people who experience stroke.

In November 2003, Senator Thad Cochran (R-MS) introduced S. 1909, a slightly different measure also called the Stroke Treatment and Ongoing Prevention Act. S. 1909, which was referred to the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, would
  • enhance programs to prevent stroke and to treat and rehabilitate people who experience a stroke.
  • authorize the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to study patient access to stroke prevention and treatment services and the effect of existing stroke-related public awareness campaigns.

Trauma Research and Access to Urgent Medical Attention Act of 2004

Number: H.R. 3999
Sponsor: Representative Jim Greenwood (R-PA)
Latest action: Referred to the House Energy and Commerce Committee on March 18, 2004.
Highlights: Would require the NIH to establish a comprehensive program of basic and clinical research on trauma, including the prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of trauma-related injuries. The bill also would require HRSA to expand programs to improve care given to trauma victims.

Closing the Health Care Gap Act of 2004

Number: S. 2217
Sponsor: Senator Bill Frist (R-TN)
Latest action: Referred to the Senate Finance Committee on March 12, 2004.
Highlights: Would establish several new initiatives related health disparities. For example, the bill would

  • require the NIH director, in consultation with the Director of the NIH National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities, to expand research relating to the causes of health and health care disparities, and to increase efforts to recruit minority scientists and research professionals into the field of health disparity research.
  • expand the responsibilities of the DHHS Office of Minority Health to include activities related to the elimination of health disparities in groups that are not considered minority populations, and would change the Office's name to the Office of Minority Health and Health Disparities to reflect the additional responsibilities.

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Organ and Tissue Donation

Organ Donation and Recovery Improvement Act

Number: P.L. 108-216 (formerly known as H.R. 3926 and S. 573)
Latest action: Became law on April 5, 2004.
Highlights: Establishes several new initiatives related to organ donation, including activities to

  • encourage organ donation.
  • reimburse living donors for expenses related to organ donation.
  • establish a registry to monitor the long-term health of living donors.

A bill to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986

Number: H.R. 4042
Sponsor: Representative Alcee Hastings (D-FL)
Latest action: Referred to the House Ways and Means Committee on March 25, 2004.
Highlights: Would allow a tax deduction for expenses paid in connection with the donation of an organ.

Other bills and resolutions related to organ and tissue donation that have been introduced during the 108th Congress and mentioned in previous legislative updates include:

Donor Outreach, Network, and Timely Exchange (DONATE) Act

Number: S. 376
Sponsor: Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL)
Latest action: Referred to the Senate HELP Committee on February 13, 2003.
Highlights: Would amend the Public Health Service Act to promote organ donation and facilitate access to donor registries.

Cord Blood Stem Cell Act of 2003 and the National Cord Blood Stem Cell Bank Network

Numbers: H.R. 2852 and S. 1717
Sponsors: Representative Christopher H. Smith (R-NJ) and Senator Orrin G. Hatch (R-UT)
Latest actions: H.R. 2852 was referred to House Energy and Commerce Committee on July 24, 2003. S. 1717 was referred to the Senate HELP Committee on October 3, 2003.
Highlights: Would establish, under HRSA, a network responsible for preparing, storing, and distributing human umbilical cord blood stem cells for patients needing transplants.

National Bone Marrow Donor Registry Reauthorization Act

Number: H.R. 3034
Sponsor: Representative Bill Young (R-FL)
Latest action: Referred to the Senate HELP Committee on October 2, 2003, after passage by the House.
Highlights: Would require the national bone marrow scientific registry to make relevant summaries and data sets of scientific information available to the public.

National Marrow Donor Program

Number: H. Con. Res. 206
Sponsor: Representative Michael C. Burgess (R-TX)
Latest action: Referred to the Senate HELP Committee on December 9, 2003, after passage by the House.
Highlights: Would indicate Congressional support for the National Marrow Donor Program and other bone marrow donor programs and encourage Americans to learn about the importance of bone marrow donation.

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Stem Cell Research

Stem Cell Replenishment Act of 2004

Number: H.R. 3960
Sponsor: Representative Juanita Millender-McDonald (D-CA)
Latest action: Referred to House Energy and Commerce Committee on March 11, 2004.
Highlights: Would permit Federal funds to be used for research on human embryonic stem cell lines that were created after the August 9, 2001, deadline established by President Bush.

Other bills related to embryonic stem cells, therapeutic cloning, and somatic cell nuclear transfer technology that have been introduced during the 108th Congress and mentioned in previous legislative updates include:

Human Cloning Prohibition Act of 2003

Numbers: H.R. 534 and S. 245
Sponsors: Representative Dave Weldon (R-FL) and Senator Sam Brownback (R-KS)
Latest actions: The House voted 241 to 155 in favor of H.R. 534 on February 27, 2003. Its companion bill, S. 245, was referred to the Senate HELP Committee on January 29, 2003.
Highlights: Would prohibit both reproductive and therapeutic cloning and would impose a criminal penalty of up to 10 years for violation of bill provisions.

A less restrictive substitute measure (H.R. 801), which would have prohibited reproductive cloning only, failed in the House by a vote of 231 to 174.

Human Cloning Research Prohibition Act

Number: H.R. 916
Sponsor: Representative Cliff Stearns (R-FL)
Latest action: Referred to the House Energy and Commerce Committee and the House Science Committee on February 25, 2003.
Highlights: Would prohibit expenditure of Federal funds to conduct or support "any project of research that includes the use of human somatic cell nuclear transfer technology to produce an oocyte that is undergoing cell division toward development of a fetus."

Human Cloning Prevention Act of 2003

Number: H.R. 938
Sponsor: Representative Ron Paul (R-TX)
Latest action: Referred to the House Energy and Commerce Committee on February 26, 2003.
Highlights: Would prohibit any Federal agency from making any grant, contract, or other payment to any entity that "within the past year has engaged in human cloning." The phrase "human cloning" is defined to include somatic cell nuclear transfer technology for the purpose of deriving stem cells.

Human Cloning Ban and Stem Cell Research Protection Act of 2003

Number: S. 303
Sponsor: Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT)
Latest action: Referred to the Senate Committee on the Judiciary on February 5, 2003.
Highlights: Would prohibit reproductive cloning, but specifically would permit therapeutic cloning as long as certain requirements were met.

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Nutrition, Obesity, and Physical Activity

Improved Nutrition and Physical Activity (IMPACT) Act

Number: S. 1172
Sponsor: Senator Bill Frist (R-TN)
Latest actions: Passed by Senate on December 9, 2003, and referred to the House Energy and Commerce Committee on January 20, 2004.
Highlights: Would require the CDC, in coordination with other DHHS components, to award grants to increase physical activity and improve nutrition to prevent eating disorders, obesity, overweight, and related conditions.

In early 2003, Representative Mary Bono (R-CA) introduced H.R. 716, a slightly different measure also called the IMPACT Act. It was referred to the House Ways and Means Committee.

Personal Responsibility in Food Consumption Act

Number: H.R. 339
Sponsor: Representative Richard Anthony Keller (R-FL)
Latest action: Passed by House on March 10, 2004.
Highlights: Would protect manufacturers, distributors, or sellers of food or non alcoholic beverage products that comply with applicable statutory and regulatory requirements from claims of injury relating to a person's weight gain, obesity, or any health condition associated with weight gain or obesity.

Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) introduced a similar bill, the Common Sense Consumption Act (S. 1428), in July 2003. It was referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Other bills and resolutions related to nutrition, obesity, and physical activity that have been introduced during the 108th Congress and mentioned in previous legislative updates include:

Healthy Nutrition for America's Children Act

Number: H.R. 2832
Sponsor: Representative Richard (Doc) Hastings (R-WA)
Latest action: Referred to the House Education and the Workforce Committee on July 23, 2003.
Highlights: Would expand a U.S. Department of Agriculture program that provides free fruits and vegetables to elementary and secondary school students.

In November 2003, Senator Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) introduced the Better Eating for Better Living Act of 2003 (S. 1750), which would revise requirements of the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch program [42 U.S.C. 1769(g)]. It was referred to Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry.

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Content last modified: 5/5/04
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[Legislative Update (September 2004)]
[Legislative Update (February 2004)]
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