House passes kids cancer bill, Senate action not expected

Posted at 5:51 PM, Dec 11, 2013
and last updated 2013-12-11 17:51:51-05

(CNN) -- The House approved legislation on Wednesday that would take $126 million in federal money set aside over 10 years for political conventions and apply it to pediatric cancer research.

The bipartisan Gabriella Miller Kids First Research Act passed over the strong objections of senior Democrats, who opposed it as a publicity stunt that papers over billions in spending cuts for federal cancer research.

Less than 4% of $5 billion in cancer research goes to childhood cancers.

But at the end of the day, enough House Democrats voted for the measure inspired by Gabriella Miller, 10, who died from brain cancer in October.

It was crafted by Rep. Gregg Harper, R-Mississippi, and Rep. Peter Welch, D-Vermont.

To Democrats who say Gabriella's story is being used for publicity purposes, her father, Mark Miller said the point was to raise awareness.

"We felt comfortable letting them use Gabriella to help build support and momentum for it."

In an interview with CNN after the House vote, Ellyn Miller, Gabriella's mother said they were excited the vote passed and believes their daughter would be saying: "Ok, she's thinking, OK, Senate, it's your turn now!"

The Senate has no plans to consider the legislation.