Reid clashes with CNN's Dana Bash over cancer trials
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) had a tense exchange with CNN’s Dana Bash today, after Bash asked him why the Senate wouldn’t pass the House’s bill funding the National Institutes of Health.
Bash noted that passing the bill would allow clinical trials for cancer treatments to proceed.
“If you can help one child who has cancer, why wouldn’t you do it?” she asked.
Reid was taken aback, as Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said: “Why pit one against the other?”
Reid then said: “Why would we want to do that? We have 1,100 people at Nellis Air Force Base that are sitting home. They have a few problems of their own.”
“To have someone of your intelligence suggest such a thing,” Reid says to Bash, is “irresponsible.”
House Republicans have sought to pass individual bills funding things like the NIH instead of passing a bill funding the entire government.
Bash said after the clip aired that she was playing devil’s advocate.
Update 5:25 p.m.: Reid appeared on Bill Press’s radio show and responded to those who have accused him of being dismissive of kids with cancer.
“The whole answer is this: Why would we want to have the House of Representatives – John Boehner – cherry-pick what stays up and what’ll be closed?” Reid said. “Of course I care about (kids with cancer). I have 16 of my own grandchildren, five children. But I also care about the Centers for Disease Control. … They are not working today, looking for the next scourge that affects people.”
“So what I told Dana Bash, who is a fine reporter, is that we care about all these things. We care about our state parks, we care about our veterans. But we can’t fall into the trap (of passing piecemeal bills), and finally at the end, everything will be open except the money to finish Obamacare.”
(h/t Peter Ogburn)