U.S. Rep. Lynn Jenkins is blasting the House Homeland Security appropriations bill because it does not include $36 million for funding construction of the National Bio- and Agro-Defense Facility at Manhattan, which is in her district.
Jenkins, a Topeka Republican, was the lone member of the Kansas House delegation to vote against the bill, which widely passed in the House Wednesday night. The bill does strengthen efforts to thwart bringing Guantanamo detainees into the United States. It also funds more border patrol agents.
“The House Appropriations Committee had a responsibility to fund the NBAF, and I am extremely disappointed they shirked that responsibility," Jenkins said in a statement. "DHS and the department of agriculture conducted a three-year, exhaustive search for the best site for the new NBAF and unanimously agreed on K-State because of its internationally recognized expertise in animal health research as well as the BSL-3 Biosecurity Research Institute and the National Agriculture Biosecurity Center.
“I remain confident the Senate will include funding for the NBAF in its DHS funding bill, and I will continue to work with Sens. Pat Roberts and Sam Brownback on this issue. The research that will be conducted at the new NBAF will protect our food supply and is critical to public health in the 21st Century.”
Homeland Security officials selected Manhattan as the site for the $450 million lab after a hotly contested competition with several other states.