From the office of Congressman Andy Harris:
Statement of Congressman Andy Harris on passage of legislation to fund the National Institutes of Health (H.J.Res. 73):
“During a temporary lapse in funding, the guidance for government operations is that activities protecting the safety of human lives should continue.
However, someone in the Executive Branch has decided that pediatric cancer patients seeking to enroll in research at the National Institutes of Health do not merit services necessary to protect the safety of human life. A facility to treat people with a common cold is left open but not services to treat children with cancer. Even lab rats at NIH continue to get service, but not children with cancer. As a physician I have seen many children with cancer, and as a parent I think all of us would agree this decision is not acceptable.
I thank my Democrat colleagues for bringing this problem to our attention. The legislation passed with bipartisan support by the House of Representatives today solves that problem. The bill protects children seeking to enroll in cancer programs at NIH by providing funding for NIH. While it does not fund every government program in every government agency, the President and the Senate already accepted a step by step approach when they accepted legislation to fund military paychecks during this lapse in funding. That bill was signed into law with bipartisan support and this bill should be supported by the Senate and the White House as well.”