Anticipated Policy Changes for Embryonic Stem Cell Research: Funding Under the Obama Administration

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Soon after the November 2008 election, then-President-elect Obama signaled his intention to issue executive orders to repeal decisions made by the Bush administration on diverse policies, including the limitations imposed on embryonic stem cell research. Less than a week after Election Day, John Podesta, transition chief for the Obama administration, stated that they were "looking at virtually every agency to see where we can move forward, [including] on stem cell research."1 Podesta further stated that executive orders on stem cell research could be easily repealed without congressional action. President-elect Obama later confirmed his intention to pursue legislation to permit federal funding on stem cell research, and overturn the limits imposed by President Bush.2

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