Topeka In a flare-up over the proposed National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility in Manhattan, Kan., U.S. Rep. Lynn Jenkins, R-Topeka, said Kansas may not be the Hamptons, but it is definitely not a sinkhole.
Her comment was made Friday in response to a comment made by U.S. Rep. Tim Bishop, D-N.Y., whose district includes the upper income Hamptons on Long Island, and the Plum Island Animal Disease Center.
Under a Department of Homeland Security plan, the Plum Island facility will be sold and replaced by NBAF, which will be a top-level biosecurity lab for research on human and animal diseases. Homeland Security has picked the Kansas State University campus in Manhattan as the site.
Bishop says it doesn’t make sense to decommission Plum Island, adding that the sale of the island will come nowhere near providing the funds to pay for the construction of NBAF.
“Rather than pour hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars down a sinkhole in Kansas and open the Pandora’s Box of decommissioning Plum Island, we should abandon NBAF and make use of existing facilities that continue to serve this nation well,” Bishop said.
Jenkins replied, “The Second District of Kansas may not be the Hamptons and may not have a median income of $62,000 like Congressman Bishop’s home district in New York, but it most definitely is not a sinkhole like the Congressman claims.”
Jenkins defended the Manhattan site for NBAF, saying it was chosen after an exhaustive review and that Kansas has the necessary biosciences expertise to support the facility.
“NBAF is vital to our nation’s animal and human health as well as to our agriculture industry, and I will continue to make it a priority of mine as long as I serve in the House of Representatives,” she said.