Congresswoman Jenkins asks Obama for lab support

Congresswoman Lynn Jenkins (R-Kansas) recently sent a letter to President Barack Obama asking for his continued support of plans to build a major biosafety level-4 animal disease research facility near Manhattan, Kansas.

Current plans call for the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility to replace the Plum Island Animal Disease Center in New York State. The NBAF is not expected to be fully operation until 2018 and the transition has stirred debate among lawmakers.

In December, Kansas government officials authorized issuing bonds for the construction of the $650 million facility. The federal government pledged to match a portion of the funding in order to build a central utilities building for the lab, according to the Associated Press.

"Both the Bush and Obama administrations have made it exceedingly clear that the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility is essential to our national security, and that Manhattan, Kansas, with its strong ties to K-State and the Animal Health Corridor, is the best place for the NBAF to be located," Jenkins wrote. "The NBAF will be a cutting edge research facility that will accelerate our nation's ability to protect ourselves, our food supply and our economy from biological threats; it will become the world's premier animal health research facility and further solidify our nation's place as the international leader in animal health research. Simply put, America needs the NBAF, and I hope President Obama continues to support its construction in his FY2013 budget."