- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Congress on Tuesday agreed to cancel its giveaway of taxpayer money to its own political conventions every four years, as the Senate cleared a bill to cut off funds.

Senators approved the bill by unanimous consent early Tuesday, sending it straight to President Obama for his signature.

“This is the type of bipartisan legislation that should move easily through the Senate,” Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said as he pushed the bill through.

In 2012, the two parties took $36 million in taxpayer money to stage their conventions.

Ending public funding of conventions has been a GOP cause for several years. The latest version of the their bill says the money that would have gone to political conventions should be redirected to the National Institutes of Health for grants to pediatric research.

But Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who allowed the political conventions bill to pass, said nobody should “claim victory” yet because it was such a small amount of money.

He said Democrats would propose a major boost for NIH, and he said he wanted to see Republicans sign onto that as proof they are serious about public support for medical research.

“It’s a small victory and I accept that,” he said, but added, “I think it’s extremely important that we understand that the NIH is billions of dollars short…. They’ve been losing ground the last five years.”

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