On the Government Shutdown and Pediatric Cancer Drug Trials →

Timothy Egan:

Sarah Palin finally got her death panels — a direct blow from the Republican House. In shutting down the government, leaving 800,000 people without a paycheck and draining the economy of $300 million a day, the Party of Madness also took away last-chance cancer trials for children at the National Institutes of Health.

And now that the pain that was dismissed as a trifle on Monday, a “slimdown” according to the chuckleheads at Fox News, is revealed as tragic by mid-week, the very radicals who caused the havoc are trying to say it’s not their fault.

Non-crazy Republicans should be ashamed of their party.

Congress did look at the matter, along with federal park funds, as Pete Kasperowicz writes:

The House easily passed the parks resolution, H.J.Res. 70, in a 252-173 vote — the measure was supported by 23 Democrats and opposed by one Republican.

Along the way to passing the resolution funding the NIH, H.J.Res. 73, Republicans criticized Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) for dismissing the idea of funding programs that help sick children. When asked if he would support NIH funding to help even one child with cancer, Reid said, “Why would we want to do that?”

Sadly, it wasn’t nearly as cut and dry as some would wish:

Most Democrats opposed this bill as well and said it amounts to playing needy groups off each other.

“Every day, the Republican leadership tries to find a new way to pit one desperate group of Americans against another,” said Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.). “Today Republicans are pitting kids with cancer against kids who are hungry because of the shutdown.”

While the bill was passed by the House, Democrats should be ashamed, too, as it hasn’t been passed by the Senate, thanks to Harry Reid.

Kids with cancer shouldn’t be political pawns, and their families shouldn’t be jerked around by the federal government.