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Rep. Comstock proposes shifting money from presidential election fund to cancer research

U.S. Rep. Barbara Comstock (R) on Thursday introduced the Kids First Research Act 2.0, which would re-direct $320 in federal funds from the Presidential Election Campaign fund to the Pediatric Research Initiative Fund at the National Institutes of Health.

The bill is similar to the Gabriella Miller Kids First Research Act in that it shifts money from more politics-laden federal funds to childhood cancer research. President Barack Obama (D) signed that measure into law in 2014.

The Gabriella Miller Kids First Research Act, named after a Leesburg child who died from brain cancer in 2013, re-directed public funds for political party conventions to cancer research.

Kids First 2.0 “is merely a continuation of this effort of redirecting unused funds to a lifesaving and urgent cause,” Comstock said in a statement Thursday. “NIH is already engaged in a multitude of promising research efforts and this funding will advance this important vision.”

Leesburg resident Ellyn Miller, Gabriella's mother and the founder and president of the Smashing Walnuts Foundation, said she plans to advocate for the new proposal.

“In spite of its tragic nature, childhood cancer remains a devastatingly underfunded area of disease research, comprising less than 4 percent of the National Cancer Institute’s annual budget,” Miller said in a prepared statement. “We commend Congresswoman Comstock for exploring creative solutions to address this shortfall and we look forward to working with her to ensure the legislation’s passage.”

The Gabriella Miller act, which called for nearly $130 million in cancer research funding over 10 years, has been funded in its first three years for a total of $37.8 million. Ellyn Miller plans to visit Capitol Hill next week to lobby lawmakers for appropriations in fiscal 2018.

All of Loudoun County's federal legislators – Comstock and Sens. Tim Kaine (D) and Mark Warner (D) – were vocal supporters of the Gabriella Miller act.

According to Comstock's office, Kids First 2.0 would transfer approximately $320 million in “idle” funds in the Presidential Election Campaign Fund to the Pediatric Research Initiative Fund. Like the initial Kids First act, the money would still have to be allocated during appropriations.

“Most major presidential candidates have declined to participate in public financing since at least 2008,” a statement from Comstock's office noted. “No major candidate accepted public funds in 2012 or 2016. In 2008, then-candidate Barack Obama became the first person since the public financing program's inception elected president without accepting any public funds.”

Twenty-eight children a day are diagnosed with cancer, according to NIH, and 1,190 are expected to die from the disease this year.


Barbara, when you donate YOUR own money than it will be a kind gesture….this is typical of a politician to send other peoples money to a good cause while trying to be seen as the good guy….doesn’t work

How about applying the idle money towards the national debt, Barbara?

Expanding Medicaid in Virginia would save more lives. That’s already paid for.

Grandstanding effort to further remove the public from the electoral process.  Pass this and can’t you just hear the candidates looking to sell themselves to the big money interests saying, “I would love to take public financing but I am going to turn it down so the money can instead go to the little children who need it so very badly.”  So Sad…

As a Woman, Mother and Grandmother, Barbara Comstock understands the need for Child Cancer Research.  Does NIH? NIH receives grants for a boat load of research projects that are totally worthless in the research for a cancer cure.  Can a shrimp run on a treadmill?  HOW LONG CAN THE SHRIMP RUN ON THE TREADMILL.  If you want to get loud about research and funding check out the very rare disease NBIA.  Children all over the world suffer and die from NBIA and not one NIH or Federal Grant has been awarded to find a cure. Cancer research and cure has been going on for decades without a cure.  It is OK to donate to Cancer causes and IT IS A GREAT THING TO HELP THE WELL BUT underprivileged. 

“Kids First Research Act 2.0” would strip the last vestiges of public campaign financing (the Presidential Election Campaign Fund)—dark money and “corporations as people” ever more powerfully influence our elections. That $320 million to fund pediatric research sounds great on its face—but Comstock remains adamant about removing ACA health protections for the poor and disadvantaged. So she’s fine with it just helping well off children—the ones whose parents can afford good healthcare. In the last paragraph she states that if a guy like Barak Obama (!) can get elected without public money, we REALLY don’t need this source of public funding.

I SO hope this representative loses her seat in 2018.  She’s worthless to the people she represents.  She needs to go. Soon.

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