- Beau Biden died after battling brain cancer in 2015
- Joe Biden teared up when the chamber voted to change the name of the bill
Beau Biden died in 2015 at age 46 after battling brain cancer. Since his death, his father spearheaded efforts to fight cancer, which included a bill that would make therapies available to more patients, while also improving the ability to prevent cancer and detect it at an early stage.
Biden presided over the session and appeared to grow emotional over the tributes to his son.
"Today, the Senate would like to specifically acknowledge (Biden's) efforts to help Americans struggling with cancer," Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said in the Senate chamber. "He's known the cruel toll this disease can take. But he hasn't let it defeat him. He's chosen to fight back. He's taken a leading role. And the Senate will soon pass the 21st Century Cures Act as a testament to his tremendous effort."
McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, said that the senators wanted to name the bill after Beau Biden because of Joe Biden's efforts to fund cancer research after his son's death.
"I think it's fitting to dedicate this bill's critical cancer initiatives in honor of someone who would be proud of the presiding officer today -- and that's his son, Beau," McConnell said. "And in just a moment that's exactly what the Senate will do. Renaming the (National Institutes of Health)'s cancer initiatives in this bill after Beau Biden."
Later, McConnell asked formally in the chamber that the bill be renamed after Beau Biden.
"Without objection," the vice president said, with his voice quivering and his eyes tearing up.
If passed, the bill will provide hundreds of millions of dollars in funding to research cancer.