Gov-elect Brownback's prize-winning earmark: $40 million agri-defense facility 

On his way out of the Senate to become Kansas governor, Sen. Sam Brownback has requested the single largest Homeland Security earmark in the omnibus spending bill: $40 million for a "National Bio- and Agro-defense Facility." I haven't gotten to review all the individual spending bills to see if anyone exceeds this $40 project. The GAO has questioned the location of this facility in Kansas, saying DHS didn't appropriately study the effects of pacing such a research facility in Kansas:  "Drawing conclusions about relocating research with highly infectious exotic animal pathogens from questionable methodology could result in regrettable consequences."

There's a legitimate debate as to who should decide DHS's priorities: Appropriations Committee members (elected officials) or DHS officials (unelected).

In any event, it's remarkable moment in the history of federal-state relations to see a governor-elect transfer money from 99% of the population to the state which he will govern in a few days.

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Timothy P. Carney

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