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Kansas lawmakers trying to save Lenexa FDA lab

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Here are today's headlines from the Kansas congressional delegation:Etc.[(KC Star) FDA stays silent on area lab:][1] The Food and Drug Administration is not responding to pleas to keep open its regional lab in Lenexa, U.S. Rep. Dennis Moore says. Moore has signed two letters - one in December and another in February - that were sent to the FDA about the lab and its 136 full-time positions. So far, Moore said Friday, he has been unable to extract any information from the FDA about the closure of the lab, which works to detect hazards such as food and medicine tampering. Moore's comments came at a news conference after he toured the lab with U.S. Reps. Nancy Boyda and Emanuel Cleaver and representatives of U.S. Sens. Pat Roberts, Sam Brownback, Claire McCaskill and Kit Bond and U.S. Rep. Sam Graves. Moore, Boyda and Cleaver took aim at the FDA's plan to close seven labs nationwide within the next two years.[(High Plains Journal) KFB officers make annual trip to Washington, D.C.:][2] "This could be a golden era for agriculture and rural America, but we will not preserve our way of life by sitting on our hands," Sen. Sam Brownback R-KS said. Sen. Brownback was speaking to a group of Kansas Farm Bureau members who spent March 11 to 15 in Washington, D.C., not sitting on their hands but wearing out some shoe leather on Capitol Hill. More than 100 people participated in the County Farm Bureau Presidents annual trip to Washington. During their brief visit to Washington they visited with the entire Kansas delegation, members of the House and Senate ag committee, in addition to the United State Department of Agriculture and Environmental Protection Agency representatives. ... Rep. Jerry Moran R-KS said there has been an attempt to tie the emergency supplemental legislation to funding for the war in Iraq. Rep. Moran said he would rather have a clean vote on just the disaster aid package without any other amendments. ... Whenever a group of farmers gets together these days the meeting is not complete without the mention of biofuels and the Farm Bureau trip to Washington was no exception. "I know ethanol is a religion in Iowa," Sen. Roberts said. "But what if we have a drought in one of the 'I' states. Lets be careful as we go down this road."Rep. Dennis Moore (D) ![][3][(Dennis Moore commentary in KC Star) Tough budgetary choices pave way to fiscal sanity:][4] When I came to Congress in 1999, our country faced a very different fiscal situation than the one we currently confront. At that time, fiscal restraint, the use of budget enforcement tools and a strong economy had helped turn around a dire fiscal situation and produced a budget surplus by 1998. One of these important budget enforcement tools was "pay as you go" (PAYGO), a principle that fiscally conservative Democratic Blue Dogs in the House of Representatives have advocated for years. PAYGO requires that any tax cut or increase in mandatory spending be offset by reductions in other mandatory spending or increases in revenues, rather than being financed through deficit spending. Unfortunately, the requirements that had been so effective in bringing about a responsible approach to budgeting throughout the 1990s were allowed to expire in 2002. The results of this speak for themselves - budget deficits in the last six fiscal years that, compounded by the growing interest payments we must pay to service this debt, produced over $3 trillion in new national debt.Rep. Nancy Boyda (D) ![][5][(LJW) Ryun preparing to run again:][6] Jim Ryun is in the race again, and this time the former miler is running a marathon. The Lawrence Republican who was turned out of office in November seeks to win back the 2nd Congressional District seat, a full 16 months before the August 2008 primaries, and 19 months before the November 2008 general election. His early entry and campaign fundraising is meant, in part, to ward off possible GOP challengers. But possible Republican candidates say they will make their decision on whether to run regardless of Ryun's plans. "I will continue to look at the race over the next month or so to gauge support," said state Rep. Lee Tafanelli, R-Ozawkie. "If we feel we're the right candidate, we'll do that," he said. State Treasurer Lynn Jenkins of Topeka also said she is seriously considering seeking the congressional seat.[(Joplin Globe) Boyda: Staying in Iraq not an option:][7] Boyda, who recently visited Iraq, said she believes Iraq is the biggest issue facing Congress, and that staying the course should not be an option. "We don't have the troops, and we don't have the equipment," she said. "We don't have the option of staying the course. We've got to stop making decisions based on where we wish we were. We're not there, and we need to be able to make decisions based on reality." Boyda said the president's buildup of U.S. troops in Iraq is endangering America's strategic readiness. "Our president has chosen to use up the last of our reserves, and we're leaving ourselves in a very dangerous situation," she said.[link to Yahoo][8] U.S. Rep. Nancy Boyda, D-Kan., on Saturday urged residents of Treece seeking a federal buyout of their homes not to lose hope, but also to have patience. "I know that you all have been through a nightmare and are continuing to go through a nightmare," Boyda told the crowd at Picher City Hall. "I wish I could say it was over." The meeting was held in Picher because there is no building in Treece that can hold a lot of people. Treece is affected by environmental problems resulting from decades of mining. A federal buyout has been approved for Picher, just south of Treece. [See the Lawrence Journal-World's series: "Mining's Legacy: A Scar on Kansas"][9] [1]: http://www.kansascity.com/mld/kansascity/news/local/17003744.htm [2]: http://www.hpj.com/archives/2007/apr07/apr2/KFBofficersmakeannualtripto.cfm?title=KFB%20officers%20make%20annual%20trip%20to%20Washington,%20D.C. [3]: http://ljworld.com/specials/election04/primary/moore.jpg [4]: http://www.kansascity.com/mld/kansascity/news/opinion/17012070.htm [5]: http://ljworld.com/specials/election04/primary/boyda.jpg [6]: http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2007/apr/02/ryun_preparing_run_again/?politics [7]: http://www.joplinglobe.com/local/local_story_092002211.html [8]: http://www.yahoo.com/ [9]: http://www2.ljworld.com/news/mining/

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