4:49 PM EDT
Albert Wynn, D-MD 4th

Mr. WYNN. Mr. Chairman, I begin by thanking my colleague from Maryland (Mr. HOYER) for holding the fort for me, as it were. This is a very important amendment to my district; very important to the entire State of Maryland. It deals with the consolidation of the Food and Drug Administration at a location in Montgomery County, Maryland, known as White Oak.

Currently, the FDA has approximately 39 different buildings in 21 different locations, housing 6,000 employees. The purpose of this project was to consolidate those buildings, employees and locations into one site, the former Naval Surface Warfare Center in White Oak in my district. Importantly, this amendment would allow for the construction and design of a 100,000-square-foot center for drug evaluation and research. This is a very important laboratory in the overall work of the Food and Drug

Administration.

Equally important, or perhaps more importantly, the consolidation would result in significant savings. Specifically, we can save $200 million in lease costs over a 10-year period if we pass this amendment, which would allow for the construction of the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research Laboratory.

In addition to serving the purposes of the Food and Drug Administration, this project will also help fill a void left in my district with the closure of the Naval Surface Warfare Center. As my colleagues know, in the course of base closings some facilities were no longer needed. And in the process of determining which facilities were not needed, we also developed programs and processes which would basically say that while we are closing this facility, we are looking at other options. One of the

options that was considered and, in fact, agreed upon, was to consolidate the Food and Drug Administration at this site. It is a very beautiful campus-like setting, a wooded facility that could easily house the Food and Drug Administration in an appropriate setting which concentrates and brings together all of their facilities.

We think this is a very important project, but we also understand that no construction projects were funded by the committee, and we are sensitive to the fact that we would not be given an inordinate preference in this case. I raise the amendment for purposes of increasing the profile of this particular issue in the hopes that the chairman would consider this project in the course of discussions in conference. I do not intend to press the amendment, but I believe this is an important project

for the country in terms of consolidating the Food and Drug Administration, it is an important project for the community in Montgomery County and the Washington region in terms of having these facilities consolidated in an effective way and developing this new laboratory, and it is important for the taxpayers in terms of saving significant lease costs.