October 2nd, 2013
03:17 PM ET
12 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. Anthony in California

    Why do Republicans hate Americans so much?

    October 2, 2013 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  2. Rick McDaniel

    Reid has no class of any kind. He is a disgusting individual.

    October 2, 2013 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  3. Obama and Democrats LIED, your Healthcare System DIED

    Hairy Reid, the biggest liar and obstructionist after Obama. Insulting a woman. A real class act there Hairy Reid Stop shutting down the government you loser.

    October 2, 2013 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  4. freedom

    Finally Bash asked a question that a journalist should ask – based on the facts. Reid is old and mean – we've had enough of your bullying – you have abused the privileged office you hold and just like Hilary, Pelosi, and Obama have exposed yourself for the self-serving egotist that you are – that has no conscience.

    October 2, 2013 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  5. Bgreen415

    About time someone let her have it.

    October 2, 2013 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  6. Electronikat

    Why not show us what she asked and how he replied? Maybe what he said wasn't that insulting and maybe her question was stupid.

    October 2, 2013 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  7. Wake up People!

    That's the best you got he insulted a woman???

    What about the Slap Hillary game?
    What about all of the names that Wendy Davis was called?
    What about all the nasty names you RWNJ's call Hillary or any other democratic female??

    You people are rich. Someone fights back and you start crying like the little girls you are.

    October 2, 2013 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  8. simplyput

    Senator (HA!) Reid, just got a call from St Jude's for money that I unually give. Unfortunately, due to the annual $13K that ACA (HA!) is costing me, can't afford normal charitable activity OR medications due to the separate deductible for prescriptions in ACA. Why are dems shutting the govt down for a law that only 17% of the population believes will help them? I thought it would help me too.....wrong.

    October 2, 2013 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  9. Sniffit

    Aaaaw, another MSM reporter asks mindless stupid question and a politician finally tells them off for it. Tears ensue.

    /tearbucket

    Bash was carrying the GOP/Teartolls' water and deserved every word of it...whatever it was (seeing as how CNN has neglected to tell us what Reid said and instead told us how CNN prefers to characterize what Reid said instead of the actual words he used).

    October 2, 2013 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  10. Sniffit

    "Why do Republicans hate Americans so much?"

    They don't have a permanent stranglehold over the gov't and the populace is turning more brown.

    Next question.

    October 2, 2013 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  11. Joan

    Actually he didn't insult her. It was a leading and obviously controversial question which really didn't need an answer. Of course everyone, including Reid wants to have the sick children treated. The question had an obvious answer. You see, the Republicans are trying to cherry pick the most needed parts of the government and pretend they are the heroes for wanting to fund them. What the Republicans need to do is stop stalling and pass a clean CR and then ALL of the important funding will be restored. Everyone knows that and shouldn't fall for their sneaky tactic of trying to put out these mini plans which is just a stalling strategy. Unfortunately Ms. Bash fell for it.

    October 2, 2013 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  12. Durundal

    "Reid is old and mean" – haha are you kidding me? How freakin old are you?!? If thats the kind of infantile understanding of the world you have then I hope to god you havent figured out how to vote yet

    October 2, 2013 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  13. The Real Tom Paine

    -Rick McDaniel

    Reid has no class of any kind. He is a disgusting individual.
    ************
    Didn't you say the same thing about Lincoln, Ricky? How are your plans going to seize Fort Sumter?

    October 2, 2013 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  14. Ted van Tol

    When is this political theatre over? The USA lost his position as a worldleader long time ago.
    What left is the Divided States of America with a failing not functoning democracy where guns, crime and obese are
    tthe main exportarticles. The moral standard has become a big joke.
    Only your President deserve respect for fighting his battle against hate and fear
    from the (far)right conservatives, the insurancecompanys and the weaponindustry.
    Every day I read on my computer a message: "do you want to live in the USA"? and every time
    is say it loud: No thanks! Today the military semenary in Holland was closed as the result of the
    shutdown and many Americans and people all over the world were standing for a closed gate.
    Wat a disrespect for the soldiers who lost there lives in WW2. America wake up and start a revolution now!

    October 2, 2013 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  15. Larry in Houston

    amazing, isn't it ? Obama has "Zero" demands, but the bonehead & company has. And a lot of them, at that. Well, to be perfectly honest, according to the Quinnipiac poll, the longer this shutdown thing goes on, when the mid-terms rolls around, congress will end up in democratic control. Unlike what Brit Hume told O'Reilly last nite on his show – apparently Hume has got "rove math 2012" in his brain, when he said that there will be a republican "sweep" in 2014. WoW !! That guy must be living under a rock !! LOL

    October 2, 2013 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  16. Peoples State of Illinois

    Why do democrats hate Americans so much?

    October 2, 2013 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  17. Hammerer

    At least Reid spoke the true feelings of the Dems. Why would they worry about a child with cancer when the president's healthcare bill is so much more important.
    Shows the character of the Dems in congress!

    October 2, 2013 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  18. Rudy NYC

    Democrats already voted to fund the research when they passed a "clean" bill, and sent it back to the House where it sits.

    October 2, 2013 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  19. Winston Smith

    No one feels the pinch of the shutdowns, except those that didn't cause them. The people responsible, are now and always will be paid. Just doesn't seem fair now does it?

    October 2, 2013 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  20. Sniffit

    Reports are filtering in that the clean CR would actually get AT LEAST 150 GOP votes in the House...in addition to every or almost every Dem. This would mean that it's not even the Hastert Rule that's preventing Boehner from allowing a vote on it. Even GOP Reps are reporting that they can't make sense of his refusal to let it be voted upon, as it would get passed by a majority of BOTH parties in the House. The only explanation is that he's terrified of being primaried by one of the radicalized RWNJs the GOP has been feeding the political equivalent of bath salts for the past 5 years.

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

    @Durundal

    He IS old and mean. It doesn't matter how old I am. That's his whole demeanor – old and mean. Crotchety, cranky, and mean. A meanness that comes from having it for many, many years – that's where the old comes in – which has also contributed to no conscience.

    October 2, 2013 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  22. 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.

    October 2, 2013 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  23. OK

    Hammerer

    At least Reid spoke the true feelings of the Dems. Why would they worry about a child with cancer when the president's healthcare bill is so much more important.

    --–

    That is the most idiotic statement I have ever heard. There are likely more than a few of these kids that would have been kicked off their insurance had it NOT been for the President's health care law, and it's provision for pre-existing conditions and elimination of lifetime caprs. How about the kids that never get a chance to make it as far as a clinical trial because thier parents don't have any insurance at all? And that is just A-OK with the Republicans.

    October 2, 2013 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  24. just asking

    geez harry... why didn't you go over and slap her around and beatg her too. teach her a good lesson for daring to ask you a tough question, for doing her job. yes women, this is what the left really thinks of you. you ar ejust there to be used and demeaned when you dare step out of place.

    October 2, 2013 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  25. Sniffit

    "At least Reid spoke the true feelings of the Dems. Why would they worry about a child with cancer when the president's healthcare bill is so much more important.
    Shows the character of the Dems in congress!"

    There is a bill in the House RIGHT THIS SECOND that can be brought to a vote to fund this program...and oh, hey, it would fund the rest of the gov't as well...two birds with one stone as it were: the "clean" continuing resolution. Instead of playing games trying to fund the gov't piecemeal like it's an a la carte buffet at which only the GOP gets to choose what it likes and dictate what goes on America's plate, they need to vote on that. It would pass with vast majorities of both parties voting for it. Instead, the GOP is letter the 30-50 most extreme, radicalized, know-nothing neo-birchers in the House call all the shots. Giving in and letting the GOP play this piecemeal funding game is not an option. It's a non-starter and is going NOWHERE. And no, the obvious talking point manufacture of bringing these "have you stopped beating your wife" bills to the Senate so they can be shot down is not going to gain the GOP any ground with anyone except their radicalized base.

    October 2, 2013 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
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