Bill would transfer $126M for party conventions to pediatric research

Jan. 4, 2014 at 11:21 AM

WASHINGTON, Jan. 4 (UPI) -- Republicans urged congressional Democrats Saturday to redirect millions of U.S. tax dollars currently used for political conventions, to pediatric research.

U.S. Rep. Gregg Harper, R-Miss., said in his party's weekly address the $126 million spent on political parties' presidential nominating conventions should instead be given to the National Institutes of Health, the Hill reported.

"Instead of funding these conventions once every four years, we'll make it a daily priority to explore the full potential of clinical trials and advancements," Harper said. "Not only for childhood cancer, but for all pediatric conditions -- even the most rare genetic diseases."

Harper -- who has introduced the Gabriella Miller Kids First Research Act, named after a girl who died of brain cancer at age 10 -- said he knows firsthand the problems of raising a child with special needs, ABC News Radio reported.

"As the father of a 24-year-old son living with Fragile X Syndrome, I understand the challenges families raising special needs children face," Harper said. "But I also recognize the value of expanded and improved medical research."

He urged the Senate to "act swiftly" on the legislation "so that our nation's children can experience the full benefits of promising clinical trials and medical advancements.'

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