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Archive for Thursday, December 12, 2013

Kansas House delegation splits on budget deal

December 12, 2013

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Kansas' U.S. House delegation, all Republicans, split on the bipartisan budget deal that was passed by the House on Thursday.

Reps. Lynn Jenkins, whose district includes Lawrence, and Kevin Yoder, of Overland Park, voted for it, while Tim Huelskamp, of Fowler, and Mike Pompeo, of Wichita. voted against.

The measure, crafted by Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., would reduce the deficit over the next decade and avert the threat of another government shutdown.

It passed 332-94, has won the endorsement of President Barack Obama and now goes to the Senate for consideration next week.

Jenkins said the package was needed to ensure funding for the proposed National Bio and Agro-Defense lab in Manhattan.

She said the biosecurity facility was critical to Kansas and national security and that under the budget agreement NBAF would receive $404 million, "but without it, only $17 million, effectively sending NBAF a stop work notice causing ripple effects across Kansas."

But a spokeswoman for U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., disagreed with Jenkins' assessment.

"A budget does not guarantee funding for any project, appropriations bills do," said Sarah Little, communications director for Roberts.

Roberts opposes the budget deal and was instrumental in launching the effort to get NBAF in Kansas.

Huelskamp, whose district includes NBAF, voted against the budget bill, saying the measure increased spending and taxes.

Pompeo said he agreed with many provisions of the bill but said the deal stymied progress in cutting more spending.

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