Thursday’s Great Bend Tribune reported as fact, Congressman Tim Huelskamp “has consistently backed the construction” of the National Bio- and Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF) in Manhattan. Yet Tim Huelskamp voted “No” on the Ryan Budget which allowed for funding of the project and again Huelskamp voted “NO” on the subsequent spending bill which contained $440 million to continue the construction underway. Perhaps, qualifying his support as subject to his budget cutting priority would be more accurate. Tim Huelskamp appeared Oct. 16, on National Television to advocate continuing the federal government shutdown.
The last government shutdown, almost a year ago, was no fun for anyone. Federal workers were furloughed or worked without pay, Private Federal Contractors like those working on NBAF laid off thousands, children were dis-enrolled from Head Start and the U.S. economy lost about $24 billion. When confronted with the insanity of such policies, the Tea Party Politicians respond with a childish outburst of: “Not me, but you!” Politicians should own their policies and admit adverse consequences do arise from defying their own leadership in Congress.
House Republican Leadership is increasingly nervous about the potential for a rebellion on the next continuing resolution which must be passed by Oct. 1, 2014, to keep the government open. Credible sources report the small but influential Tea Party Caucus of House conservatives were emboldened by what happened earlier this month with the border bill: A proposal favored by Speaker John Boehner to address the border crisis with emergency funding and expedited deportations had to be pulled when conservatives like Congressman Tim Huelskamp, egged on by Senator Ted Cruz, revolted.
Congressman Tim Huelskamp’s support for the construction of the National Bio- and Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF) on the Kansas-State Campus in Manhattan should be judged by his actions and not his words.
Kent A. Roth