Senate OKs bill to fund pediatric cancer and autism research

With the backing of Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, the U.S. Senate has passed a bill designed to assist in funding research of pediatric cancer and autism, funded by money now used to pay for presidential campaigns and party conventions.

The proposed Gabriella Miller Kids First Research Act authorizes $12.6 million a year for 10 years, McConnell press secretary Robert Steurer said in an email.

McConnell’s likely Democratic opponent in the November election, Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, said he delayed passage of the bill, but McConnell’s office blamed Democratic objections.

McConnell said in a floor speech, “As a survivor of polio as a child, I have always empathized with children battling life-threatening or disabling disorders,” and it is “about time” this bill passed. It goes to President Barack Obama for his signature, reports Joseph Gerth of The Courier-Journal.

Grimes found fault with McConnell’s written reply to an inquiry about the bill, telling the constituent he would “keep your support in mind.” Gerth reports,  “McConnell’s Senate office on Tuesday said that the Senate Republican Caucus had agreed to unanimously support the measure on Jan. 7.”

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