Harry Reid: No, we won't agree to fund NIH in order to restart treatment for kids with cancer

Via the Free Beacon, what’s the most amazing thing about this? That Reid gets a variation of the “why do you hate children?” question that’s typically reserved for Republicans? Or that he actually responds, when asked if he’ll agree to the House’s new bill to fund NIH in the name of keeping clinical trials for kids with cancer up and running, “Why would we want to do that?”

Am I awake?

Remember, both he and Obama already approved a House bill on Monday that made sure troops would continue to get paid during the shutdown. They’re not opposed to small, targeted, piecemeal bills in principle, in other words; they’ve already showed that, if the politics of saying no are sufficiently toxic, they’ll agree to fund federal agencies whose sustained deprivation would lead to egregious outcomes. In fact, the core Democratic message about the GOP is that, in opposing ObamaCare, they’re trying to deny uninsured Americans treatment for their illnesses. So here’s Boehner and the House caucus trying to counter that with the same sort of piecemeal bill that Senate Democrats already passed two days ago, and Reid decides that maintaining his “no negotiation” posture is worth telling cancer patients to chillax for awhile. Either he’s really committed to not giving an inch or he’s betting big that the media won’t punish him for taking this position. Normally I’d say that’s a smart bet, but the fact that CNN is asking this question at all makes me wonder.

Update: Indeed.


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