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Topics: Obamacare

Harry Reid wonders why U.S. should fund federal programs for research on a cure for cancer in kids

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Beltway Confidential,Joel Gehrke,Obamacare,Harry Reid,Mitt Romney,Government Shutdown

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., is getting a taste of the medicine he dished out to Mitt Romney during the 2012 presidential campaign.

"Republicans are in such desperate straits that they have literally resorted to accusing me of not caring about kids with cancer," Reid tweeted Wednesday afternoon. "Shameful."

Reid came under fire for his response to a CNN reporter's question about a Republican proposal to fund the National Institutes of Health.

"Why would we want to do that?" Reid replied when CNN's Dana Bash asked "if you can help one child who has cancer, why wouldn't you do it?"

"Why pit one against the other?" Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., interjected.

Reid may have been having difficulty deciding how best to respond to the congressional Republican strategy of funding the government, piece-by-piece, while defunding Obamacare, or extracting other concessions.

Mitt Romney may feel Reid's pain. After all, Reid replied to Romney's call to pull government funding for Planned Parenthood by suggesting that the then-Republican presidential candidate didn't care about women who have cancer.

“What he said is women are on their own, they should shop around for life-saving breast cancer and cervical cancer screening,” Reid told the Las Vegas Sun.

That's a pretty loose paraphrase of Romney's comments about which programs to defund. "The test is pretty simple. Is the program so critical, it's worth borrowing money from China to pay for it?" he said, per Politico.

"And on that basis of course you get rid of Obamacare, that's the easy one. Planned Parenthood, we're going to get rid of that. The subsidy for Amtrak, I'd eliminate that. The National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities."

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