In response to the President’s recently-proposed fiscal year 2018 budget, which includes zeroing out funding for and closing the National Biodefense Analysis and Countermeasures Center (NBACC) in Frederick, Maryland, U.S. Rep. John K. Delaney (D-MD) used a public letter to come out strongly against the proposal.
The NBACC is operated under the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and functions as a one-of-a-kind facility which helps to defend the country against various biological threats like ricin and anthrax. In addition, it supports initiatives related to preparedness planning, intelligence assessments and bioforensic analysis. In total, the facility employs more than 180 people.
“I am 100% opposed to the closing of the National Biodefense Analysis and Countermeasures Center in Frederick and will fight this deeply misguided move by the Trump Administration,” Delaney said.
Delaney continued, stating that while DHS might be moving forward with plans to close the facility based on the assumption that the President’s request would be enacted, he wanted to stress that the budget proposal was not yet law and that all funding and appropriations matters must go through Congress. He added that the proposal overall had very little support in both the House and Senate.
“Closing the National Biodefense Analysis and Countermeasures Center will hurt Frederick, but it would be even worse for our country. The National Biodefense Analysis and Countermeasures Center is a unique facility that is crucial to our homeland security, intelligence and anti-terrorism endeavors,” Delaney said.
Delaney also stated that he was concerned the budget was part of an ill-advised agents by the Trump Administration to reduce investments in important parts of the nation’s security portfolio in order to pursue a political agenda, such as the proposed wall along the southern U.S. border.