Obama signs bill shifting party convention funds to pediatric research

President Obama on Thursday signed a bill named for a Virginia girl who lobbied Congress to increase funding for medical research before dying last year at the age of 10.

The Gabriella Miller Kids First Research Act will dedicate $126 million to research over the next decade by eliminating public funding for presidential party conventions.

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At a singing ceremony in the Oval Office, Obama heralded Miller as "a beautiful, fun-loving, smart young lady" who "fought the good fight."

"What this legislation is going to do is it’s going to put millions of additional dollars into that research," Obama said.

"We’re going to need some cooperation from Congress to continue to work on a bipartisan basis to actually allocate those dollars in an effective way," he continued. "I know that [the National Institutes of Health] is very eager to work on these pediatric cancers, because obviously nothing is more challenging for a family than to go through something like this, and there’s more we can do for them."

The bill's co-sponsors, including House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) and Democratic Virginia Sens. Tim Kaine and Mark Warner, were at the ceremony, along with Miller's brother and family. The president handed the pen he used to sign the bill to Gabriella's brother.

On Sunday, Cantor heralded the bill as an example of bipartisan cooperation during an interview with Fox News.

“This place can often be about politics,” Cantor said. “And what we’re trying to do is put the curing of disease for children above politics.”