Whatever Obama does, Congress is also likely to get involved by considering legislation designed to prevent any future presidents from reinstating restrictions.
"We need to codify the opening up of the research so it doesn't turn into a Ping-Pong ball of administrations," said Rep. Diana DeGette (D-Colo.), who noted that the legislation could address another potential roadblock: the perennial Dickey-Wicker amendment that prohibits federal funding of research involving human embryos. She has been consulting with the White House on both issues.
The Dickey Amendment prevents federal tax dollars from going to research on human embryos or the creation of human embryos for research purposes. If the Dickey Amendment is overridden or dumped, this would open the door for the NIH to fund research into the creation of (including presumably via cloning) and destruction of human embryos. If this happens, our tax dollars could not only be used to pay for research on embryonic stem cells but to pay for the actual killing of human embryos.