Here are two things you don’t see every day at the White House: a bill signing, and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., standing beside President Obama with a big smile.
The political rivals were together, with Republican Rep. Tom Cole of Oklahoma and Democratic Sens. Mark Warner and Tim Kaine of Virginia, and other guests, to mark the signing of the Gabriella Miller Kids First Research Act.
The legislation redirects about $126 million over 10 years from a fund for presidential party conventions to research on pediatric diseases at the National Institutes of Health.
The law is named after a 10-year-old Virginia girl who died in 2013 after being diagnosed with cancer.
“When Gabriella, that beautiful fun-loving smart young lady, was 9 years old, she was diagnosed with a brain tumor the size of walnut. She was tough, and she knew that she had to fight it,” Obama said before signing the bill. “One of the ways she did: She smashed walnuts, and she fought the good fight. And Gabriella didn’t make it, and she’s in a better place.”
Obama credited Gabriella’s parents, Mark and Ellyn Miller, and a bipartisan coalition of legislators for working together to send more money to NIH so “that the pain that the Miller family went through is not something that has to be repeated.”