House defeats effort to halt NBAF funding

By The Mercury

The House of Representatives Wednesday defeated an effort by a Long Island-based Congressman to strip funding for the National Bio- and Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF) from an appropriations measure.

The amendment, offered by Rep. Tim Bishop, a New York Democrat, would have cut $404 million designated for the NBAF from the Department of Homeland Security budget. Bishop’s district includes Plum Island, the facility to be replaced by the NBAF. The amendment was defeated 345-80. The full DHS budget was approved 245-18.

Rep. Tim Huelskamp, who represents the Manhattan area, acknowledged that President Obama has threatened to veto the broader DHS funding measure due to administration differences with the Republican-controlled House, but said he is “not very concerned about that.” He said the amendment’s failure makes it increasingly likely that the facility will be built here.

“A vast array of farmers, veterinarians, scientists, and anti-terrorism experts all speak with one voice in supporting NBAF,” Huelskamp said. “We cannot prevent biological attacks or protect our food supply without the critical research that will be done at NBAF.”

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