Kaine, Warner sign on to Cantor pediatric research bill

Virginia’s Democratic senators have endorsed House Majority Leader Eric CantorEric CantorTrump nominates two new DOD officials Brat: New ObamaCare repeal bill has 'significant' changes Overnight Energy: Flint lawmaker pushes EPA for new lead rule MORE’s (R-Va.) bill to fund children's medical research.

Sens. Tim KaineTim KaineDemocrats exploring lawsuit against Trump Overnight Defense: US moving missile defense system to South Korea | Dems want justification for Syria strike | Army pick pushes back against critics of LGBT record Kaine, Schiff press Trump on legal justification for Syria strike MORE (D-Va.) and Mark WarnerMark WarnerIT modernization bill reintroduced in Congress Want to grow the economy? Make student loan repayment assistance tax-free. Overnight Cybersecurity: DNC hackers also targeted French presidential candidate | Ex-acting AG Yates to testify at Senate Russia hearing MORE (D-Va.) on Monday endorsed Cantor’s “Gabriella Miller Kids First Research Act,” which would eliminate taxpayer financing of presidential campaigns and party conventions, and use those funds to expand pediatric research at the National Institutes of Health.

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Supporters argue this would direct a little more than $125 million over 10 years to kids medical research.

The House passed the bill in an overwhelming 295-103 vote in mid-December, but it had yet to pick up Democratic support in the upper-chamber. GOP Senator Orrin HatchOrrin HatchWhen political opportunity knocked, Jason Chaffetz never failed to cash in Ginsburg pines for more collegial court confirmations Senate's No. 2 Republican: Border tax 'probably dead' MORE is co-sponsoring the Senate bill.

“The Gabriella Miller Kids First Research Act is an important way to honor the memory of this remarkable young Virginian while recognizing the importance of pediatric disease research. I’m honored to support this effort and look forward to doing all I can to move it forward in the Senate,” Kaine, the former head of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) said in a statement. 

Warner echoed those sentiments in pledging to move the bill to the president's desk. 

Cantor praised his fellow Virginians for lending their support to a measure that the No.2 ranked House Republican endorsed after meeting with the family of Gabriella Miller, who died from an inoperable brain tumor.

“Gabriella Miller was an inspiring young girl from Virginia who was only 9 years old when diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor the size of a walnut,” he said.

“Gabriella’s fight lives on with the bipartisan Gabriella Miller Kids First Research Act. Putting a priority on federal funding for pediatric medical research at the NIH will help overcome childhood cancer, autism and many other diseases impacting our children,” he continued. “With the bipartisan support of Senators Kaine, Warner, and Hatch, I hope the Senate acts swiftly to do the same and sends Gabriella’s bill to the President’s desk to be signed into law so we can help more children.”