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Jenkins says Homeland Security bill leaves out NBAF funding

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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.

Comments

gccs14r 5 years, 6 months ago

Maybe the folks in the 2nd District shouldn't have shot themselves in the foot by electing Jenkins. A freshman House member in a minority party has zero clout.

Bob_Keeshan 5 years, 6 months ago

Somebody probably decided NBAF was an earmark, and heard how Rep. Jenkins feels about earmarks.

Bob_Keeshan 5 years, 6 months ago

Per usual, 60 seconds with Google explains a lot:

The Committee recommends no funding for construction of the National Bio and Agro defense Facility (NBAF), instead of the $36,312,000 requested. In January 2009, DHS published an Environmental Impact Statement which detailed the site selection process, including a risk assessment for the proposed NBAF site. A recent GAO review has found the design and execution of that study to be seriously flawed, specifically as it relates to the risk of researching Foot-and-Mouth Disease (FMD) on the U.S. mainland. Therefore, the Committee cannot currently support construction of the NBAF as proposed.

The bill contains language that continues to prohibit obligation of funds for NBAF design and construction until a third party risk analysis is completed to determine whether FMD research can be done safely on the U.S. mainland. The Committee provides $5,000,000 for DHS to contract with a third party to conduct and complete another risk assessment before any funding can be obligated. The Committee expects that such third party should have the appropriate expertise to conduct an in-depth analysis of whether FMD work can be done safely on the mainland, should have access to validated plume modeling capabilities, and should have experience with or could contract for experts who have worked with FMD.

butseriouslyfolks 5 years, 6 months ago

Kudos Bob! It has amazed me how Kansas media and the Kansas politcos have ignored the GAO requirement Congressman David Price pushed through as matter of public law in 08. Bottom line, read the GAO report and you will understand how seriously flawed the push for the NBAF & its FMD research is.

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