October 2nd, 2013
03:17 PM ET
7 months ago

Reid gets fiery over question about shutdown's effect on clinical trials for kids

Washington (CNN) – Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid fired off over a question about whether the Democratic-controlled Senate would vote to restore funding for children undergoing clinical trials at the National Institutes of Health.

Asked by CNN Chief Congressional Correspondent Dana Bash if the Senate would follow the House's plans to vote for a bill to fund the NIH during the shutdown, Reid blasted the GOP-controlled House and insulted Bash.

"What right do they have to pick and choose which part of government is going to be funded? It's obvious what's going on here. You talk about reckless and irresponsible, wow," he said. (read the full exchange below)

About 200 new patients come to the NIH Clinical Center in Bethesda, Maryland every week. Patients are now being told they will have to wait until the government starts up again to begin their trials, according to NIH spokesman John Burklow.

"In fact, six new studies would have started this week that we are deferring," Burklow said. Approximately 30 of the 200 new patients are children, he said, and about 10 of those children are cancer patients.

Pressed further if Reid would move legislation if it meant helping even one child, the Nevada Democrat grew more irate.

"Why would we want to do that? I have 1,100 people at Nellis Air Force base that are sitting at home. They have a few problems of their own. To have someone of your intelligence to suggest such a thing means you're as irresponsible and reckless," he said to Bash.

Reid said he supported comments made by Sen. Dick Durbin on the issue involving the clinical trials.

"When I raised that issue and others did, Senator Cruz decided to put the NIH on his bucket list of agencies that he was willing to save," Durbin said earlier in the press conference. "Well, it shouldn't stop there. He ought to ultimately open up the government, because there are so many agencies critically important to our country that are closed down today for no earthy reason."

– CNN's Val Willingham contributed to this report.

Bash: You all talked about children with cancer unable to go to clinical trials. The House is presumably going to pass a bill that funds the NIH. Will you, at least, pass that? And if not, aren't you playing the same political games that republicans are?

REID: Listen, Senator Durbin explained that very well. And he's, did it here, did it on the floor earlier, as did Senator Schumer, and it's this: What right do they have to pick and choose what part of government's going to be funded? It's obvious what's going home here. You talk about reckless and irresponsible. Wow. What this is all about is Obamacare. They are obsessed. I don't know what other word I can use. I don't what other word I can use. They are obsessed with this Obamacare thing.

As has been pointed out on the floor in the past few days, they did the same thing on Social Security, they did the same thing on Medicare, now they're doing it on this. It's working now and it'll continue to work and people will love it even more than they do now by far. So they have no right to pick and choose.

DANA: But if you can help one child, why won't you do it?

REID: I, listen...

SCHUMER:
Why pit one against the other?

REID: Why, why, why would we want to do that? I have, I have 1100 people at Nellis Air Force Base that are sitting home. They have, they have a few problems of their own. This is, to have someone of your intelligence suggest such a thing maybe means you're as irresponsible and reckless.


Filed under: Congress • Government Shutdown • Harry Reid
soundoff (37 Responses)
  1. juney07

    Bash's question was stupid and designed to catch Reid offguard. Paraphrasing, she said, well if you could save just one sick child (wouldn't you want to stop the shutdown)? Bash should appreciate someone being caught offguard as even with a teleprompter in front of her and an earpiece in her ear, she stumbles over most of her words or misstates what she intends to "report". This has nothing to do with her being a woman; it has to do with her sloppy incompetence.

    October 2, 2013 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  2. Peoples State of Illinois

    @The Real Tom Paine

    -Peoples State of Illinois

    Why do democrats hate Americans so much?
    **************
    Why does the GOP hate both the country and everyone in it? Why do they not want the country to move forward? Do they really think this is the best we can do, to be perpetually at each other's throats? Apparently so.
    ------–
    About half the people in the country do not agree with your definition of "forward." We don't think that your "forward" is a good direction for the country to go.

    October 2, 2013 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  3. juney07

    Bash's question was stupid. Paraphrasing she asked "well if you could save one sick child (would you stop the shutdown), designed to blindside Reid. Bash should appreciate someone being blindsided as even with a teleprompter and an earpiece, she stumbles and misrepresents most of what she purports to report. This has nothing to do with her being a woman. She's simply sloppy and incompetent.

    October 2, 2013 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  4. Donna

    All of the leftist Democrat women in here are strangely silent about Reid's personal attack on Dana Bash.
    Telling, very telling. Enabling and empowering the abuser ladies. Very sad.

    October 2, 2013 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  5. Anonymous

    We all know who is "irresponsible and reckless" and I am developing a rage over their manipulation of the
    American people.
    Ted Cruz "decided to put the NIH on his bucket list of agencies HE was willing to save"??????????????
    So, its true, Boehner has turned his gavel over to the Tea Party and its new leader Ted Cruz.
    Disgusting at the very least. Dangerous at the highest level. I am so sad.

    October 2, 2013 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  6. Obama and Democrats LIED, your Healthcare System DIED

    How do you deal with a senile raving lunatic like Harry Reid? The guy should have been thrown out of the Senate years ago. Can you image the abuse he has heaped on other females that have had to deal with him? Come on Nevada, do your duty and get rid of this abusive tyrant.

    October 2, 2013 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  7. simplyput

    What's ironic is that almost every judgmental thing one party leader says can be turned on it's hypocritical head by the other party's perspective. Republicans just aren't as combative and don't have the mike that dems do. Do you not remember the LANDSLIDE 2010 electoral outrage over ACA? I say let the teaparty have its teaparty, fund the government, and let the ACA implode, as it most certainly will. Time will tell the story of the actual bully here, and if I were POTUS, this is one law I would help rewrite before the IRS misplaced more than the $67 million it's already lost.

    October 2, 2013 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  8. Anonymous

    Forgot to add that Dana Bash can take care of herself. She is in a tough business and she knows what can happen.
    But, my first comment was "moderated".......so didn't matter anyway.

    October 2, 2013 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  9. simplyput

    Don't bash the Basher! She's a tough cookie just doing her job trailing after all the TY RANT A SAUR US rexes.

    October 2, 2013 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  10. The Real Tom Paine

    -Peoples State of Illinois

    @The Real Tom Paine

    -Peoples State of Illinois

    Why do democrats hate Americans so much?
    **************
    Why does the GOP hate both the country and everyone in it? Why do they not want the country to move forward? Do they really think this is the best we can do, to be perpetually at each other's throats? Apparently so.
    --–
    About half the people in the country do not agree with your definition of "forward." We don't think that your "forward" is a good direction for the country to go
    ***********************
    And more than 50 % rejected your plans for going backwards. Going back to having 40 million uninsured and having the rest of us pay for their medical care is not solving the problem. Tying an unrelated item to the CR and crashing the country because Ted Cruz wants his name in lights is not an act of patriotism, its an act of subversion. Sorry to be so blunt, but there are better ways of conducting business than what the GOP has chosen.

    October 2, 2013 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  11. just me

    The ACA will save many children by not allowing them to be denied insurance because of preexisting conditions. Go ask Cruz why heNs endagering them.

    October 2, 2013 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  12. The Real Tom Paine

    -Donna

    All of the leftist Democrat women in here are strangely silent about Reid's personal attack on Dana Bash.
    Telling, very telling. Enabling and empowering the abuser ladies. Very sad.
    ***************
    What's very telling is how you suddenly leap to her defense: had it been Mitch McConnell, no doubt you would have praised him for putting her in her place. Your elastic morality is obvious to all but yourself, as usual.

    October 2, 2013 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
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