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Science, State, Justice, Commerce And Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2006

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Location: Washington, DC


SCIENCE, STATE, JUSTICE, COMMERCE, AND RELATED AGENCIES APPROPRIATIONS ACT, 2006 -- (House of Representatives - June 14, 2005)

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Mr. UDALL of Colorado. Mr. Chairman, I would like to enter into a colloquy with my friend, the chairman of the Subcommittee on Science, the Departments of State, Justice, and Commerce, and Related Agencies, the gentleman from Virginia (Mr. Wolf).

First I want to thank Chairman WOLF as well as Ranking Member MOLLOHAN and the other members of the subcommittee for their hard work in putting together this appropriations bill. Mr. Chairman, last year, the Department of Commerce notified the NOAA and NIST and NTIA research laboratories in Boulder, Colorado, that it had decided to build a security fence around the campus where the labs are located. This has been a matter of concern to Boulder, local residents, and the people who work in the labs. They raised questions about the nature of the unspecified threats that the fence is intended to address and about the effectiveness of a fence.

At my urging, the Department of Commerce and NIST worked with Boulder residents and city officials to determine the most acceptable placement of the fence. However, the Department still has not made clear the nature of the security threat, the proposed timetable for building the fence, or how they propose to pay for it. I understand no funding has been requested for the project.

In my view, it would not be right to reduce funding to research operations or other needed construction work in NIST and NOAA in Boulder in order to pay for the fence. So I would like to ask the chairman whether he agrees that if this fence is to be built, it should not be done at the expense of ongoing research or capital improvements to these laboratories.

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