Democrats Call on Speaker Ryan to Meet to Discuss Concerns About Partisan, Dangerous Select Panel

WASHINGTON, D.C. –(ENEWSPF)–June 16, 2016.   Today, Ranking Member Jan Schakowsky, Pro-Choice Caucus Co-Chairs Diana DeGette and Louise Slaughter, and Select Panel Democratic Members sent a letter to Speaker Paul Ryan asking that he meet with them before the House adjourns for its July 4th recess to discuss their concerns about the partisan, dangerous nature of the Panel.  The letter follows a May 24th letter to Speaker Ryan, in which 181 Democratic members urged him to disband the Select Panel.

In the letter, the members write, “We believe that a request coming from nearly all of the Democrats in the House warrants your respect and serious consideration and write now to ask that you meet with us before the House leaves in June for the July 4th district work period.”

The letter continues, “This Panel poses a real and serious threat to life-saving research, women’s access to critical health care, and people’s lives….  The Panel also heard from preeminent researchers that fetal tissue is critical to promising research on diabetes and various neurological disorders, including Alzheimer’s, schizophrenia, and autism.  These researchers informed us that fetal tissue is needed for the next phase in the treatment and cures of autoimmune diseases such as type 1 diabetes, and that they cannot unlock a cure without fetal tissue.”

“Congress should support, not threaten, research that advances our understanding of fetal and human development and brings us closer to treating and curing diseases.  This is particularly true as researchers are racing to understand and find possible means of addressing the Zika virus. The Panel Republicans’ anti-science agenda is putting life-saving research at risk.  It is also putting people’s lives in danger.”

The letter was signed by Reps. Jan Schakowsky, Diana DeGette, Louise Slaughter, Jerrold Nadler, Jackie Speier, Suzan K. DelBene, and Bonnie Watson Coleman.  For further reading about the letter and the history of the panel, please visit the Select Investigative Panel Democrats’ website at