Congressman Marsha Blackburn – StemExpress may have violated federal law by profiting from the sale of baby body parts
|This Week from the District|
|Fellow Americans –
It has been a productive week meeting with many of you in and around the district. Earlier in the week, I joined the National Association of Specialty Health Organizations (NASHO) and the National Association of Vision Care Plans (NAVCP) in Nashville to update them on the status of 21st Century Cures, important legislation we passed in the House to speed up the research and delivery of cures to patients. Tuesday was spent in Clarksville meeting with members of the local faith community, visiting with nonprofits such as theLEAP Organization, and hearing from small business owners at the Chamber of Commerce. Mid-week I took time to visit Huntsville and to see how a few of the businesses in North Alabama work with our businesses in Tennessee. TheRedstone Arsenal Army post and HudsonAlpha, a nonprofit that changes medicine through genomics, were among my stops.
The Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) has failed to submit annual reports to Congress in a timely manner as required by law. Further, ORR’s budget has grown exponentially from approximately $750 million in FY2012 funding to over $1.5 billion currently. Repeated attempts by Members of Congress to conduct legitimate oversight of this entity have been met by delays, obstruction and a failure to produce information. In case you missed it, this week I joined Fox 17 to discuss the Office of Refugee Resettlement’s lack of transparency to taxpayers and how I’m working to hold them accountable.
(FOX 17 VIDEO)
Documents uncovered by our investigation at the Select Investigative Panel so far point to the very troubling possibility that StemExpress may have violated federal law by profiting from the sale of baby body parts. Over the last several months, we have made numerous attempts to acquire business and accounting documents from StemExpress. We have learned that not only is this investigation warranted, but further examination of accounting records is needed to get the complete facts about what was actually going on. All of these requests have been met with verbal and written objections from their attorneys. Earlier this week, I wrote their CEO personally to request she turn this information over to our investigators. Yesterday, the Select Investigative Panel issued subpoenas to two financial entities — Scinto Group, LLP and Five Star Bancorp — in an effort to obtain StemExpress accounting and banking records, which the fetal tissue procurement business has failed to produce pursuant to previous subpoenas. It is time for them to follow the advice of witnesses at our April 20th hearing, respond to our subpoena, and turn over accounting records.
(LETTER FROM CATE DYER)
As Sunday approaches, I wish you all a wonderful Mother’s Day.
Have a great weekend,