Leader Cantor: Pediatric Medical Research Takes Priority Over Political Conventions
December 11, 2013
Contact: Doug Heye, Megan Whittemore
202-225-4000

“We have a very full agenda this week in the House, the final week of the session this year. As the Speaker said, we still have a lot of concerns- as do the American people – about ObamaCare.

“Zeke Emanuel was on TV this weekend saying that when the President said that you can keep your health care if you like it, what he really meant was you can do that just by paying a lot more money. That’s how you do it. Well, that is a broken promise to the American people. I know we have Secretary Sebelius coming to the Energy and Commerce Committee this week and I’d be interested to hear her answer to the question of why that is now what the President really meant.

“As you know, the Budget Chairman is here to discuss the details of the agreement with Senator Murray. I want to congratulate him on the hard work behind trying to get a deal in this divided government that we’re in. The deal is something that accomplishes deficit reduction, permanent pension reform for government employees, and it doesn’t raise taxes. It is consistent with Republican efforts all along to try and replace the sequester with permanent savings that just make a lot more sense.

“We also have up on the floor this week, Gregg Harper’s Gabriella Miller Kids First Research Act. Gregg Harper is one of our colleagues who has a child with special needs. He’s been working very hard with Peter Welch to put this bill forward. It essentially provides a choice: do we want to spend taxpayer dollars to pay for political conventions or would we rather put that money toward pediatric medical research, which has been woefully unattended to in terms of our research agenda.

“Gabriella Miller is who the bill is named after. And if you've not met her parents, her story is quite inspiring. She's a young girl -- 10 years old -- who actually died about a month ago. She's from Loudoun County, Virginia. About a year ago, she was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor. And if you've seen anything that she has said and what her parents have indicated is when a child is nine years old and is diagnosed with inoperable brain cancer, that child becomes an adult pretty quickly.

“She's a terrific inspiration to all of us. Her parents are fighting hard. They've asked to be a part of this process, and will be here in the gallery today, hopefully to move the ball forward on cancer research, medical research, especially for pediatrics.”