Marjorie Taylor Greene, Lauren Boebert Vote Against National Marrow Donor Program

Republican Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene and Lauren Boebert were the only House lawmakers to oppose a bill that would reauthorize the National Marrow Donor Program—a vital service for people who have fatal blood diseases.

The TRANSPLANT Act passed the lower chamber in a resounding 415-2 vote on Thursday night. A further 12 lawmakers did not vote on the bill—including another freshman Republican, Madison Cawthorn of North Carolina.

Under the bill, the National Marrow Donor Program would be reauthorized for a further five years. The program keeps an inventory of cord blood and a database of bone marrow donors for matches with patients diagnosed with leukemia and other fatal blood diseases.

A number of commentators were critical of Greene and Boebert after it emerged they had voted against the legislation.

"Who votes against the National Marrow Donor Program, you ask? Well, [Marjorie Taylor Greene] and Lauren Boebert—that's who," tweeted Buffy Wicks, a Democratic member of the California State Assembly.

"The 'new face' of the Republican Party, everyone!"

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene leaves her office on Capitol Hill on February 4. She voted against the TRANSPLANT Act. Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images

In a statement, Rep. Greene's spokesman Nick Dyer said: "Nothing in this bill prevents the funding of aborted fetal tissue by taxpayers. It opens the door for the NIH to use this bill to research the remains of babies who were murdered in the womb."

"This bill added hundreds of millions of dollars to the national debt, while not receiving a CBO score or going through the committee process," Rep. Boebert added.

Rep. Doris Matsui (D-CA), who sponsored the renewal bill, said in a statement that blood transplants and marrow donations were the "only potential for a cure" for many people with blood diseases.

She added: "For the 1.3 million Americans suffering from blood cancer and bone marrow disorders, we must continue to make investments in these programs that have saved tens of thousands of lives. I applaud my colleagues in the House for approving this bipartisan legislation and I urge the Senate to do the same."

Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) has put forward an identical copy of the legislation in the upper chamber. It has been read twice and now sits with the health, education, labor and pensions committee.

The Senate bill currently has four co-sponsors: two Republicans and two Democrats. This bipartisan support in the upper chamber suggests the legislation will pass without issue, as was the case in the House.

The Be the Match registry for potential donors celebrated the House vote on Thursday night. Its official account tweeted that it was "grateful" to be a step closer to renewal of the federal program.

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society estimates that every three minutes a person in the U.S. is diagnosed with a blood cancer. It forecast that more than 178,000 people in the U.S. would be diagnosed with lymphoma or myeloma last year.

According to the non-profit, a person in the U.S. dies from a blood cancer approximately every nine minutes. This adds up to more than 150 people each day.

Update 04/16/21 10:02 a.m E.T: This article was updated to include a statement from Rep. Greene's office.

Update 04/16/21 10:52 a.m E.T: This article was updated to include a statement from Rep. Boebert's office.