Here’s a press release from U.S. Rep. Gregg Harper, whose pediatric research bill has been passed by Congress and now awaits President Obama’s signature.
A bill authored by U.S. Rep. Gregg Harper (R-Miss.) that funds pediatric medical research with the money currently designated for political nominating conventions is heading to the president’s desk.
“As the father of a special needs child, I understand fully the challenges facing families raising kids with medical difficulties,” said Harper, whose 24-year-old son lives with Fragile X Syndrome. “This bill appropriately places kids first by prioritizing research for our country’s most vulnerable children.”
Coauthored by U.S. Reps. Peter Welch (D–Vt.) and Tom Cole (R–Okla.), the bipartisan “Gabriella Miller Kids First Research Act” reallocates $126 million to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for children’s research from an account set aside for taxpayer funding of party conventions. The bill passed the Senate today by unanimous consent, moving the bill to the White House. House lawmakers overwhelmingly passed the legislation in December by a bipartisan vote of 295-103.
The bill is named after a courageous young girl from Virginia who lost her battle to brain cancer when she was 10. Gabriella became a leader of this movement with moving videos and inspiring speeches, in which she vowed, “If I go – if I lose my battle – I’m going to want all the people to carry on with the war, and we’re going to win this war.”
“Sending this bill to the president is a fitting tribute to Gabriella’s legacy,” Harper continued. “I urge the president to sign the bill without hesitation.”
The “Gabriella Miller Kids First Research Act,” championed by House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R–Va.), has the support of over 100 patient advocacy groups, including the National Fragile X Foundation and Autism Speaks. U.S. Sens. Tim Kaine (D–Va.), Mark Warner (D–Va.), and Orrin Hatch (R–Utah), along with Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R–Ky.), promoted the bill in the Senate.
This has been quite the personal issue for Harper, so it’s nice to see him and others succeed with a bipartisan, good government bill.