Mayor Carolyn Kirk Thursday labeled a Senate Appropriations Committee threat to close down NOAA’s Northeast Regional Office in Gloucester and ship its 200 jobs elsewhere as “folly,” saying it represents little more than a land grab by Maryland Sen. Barbara Mikulski.
“I think it dies in the House,” Kirk said Thursday, referring to the appropriations budget provision that calls for the shuttering of the NOAA regional headquarters here as a response to Mikulski’s ongoing frustrations with NOAA. “I think they’re painting themselves into a corner on the language.”
The provision was inserted into the Commerce Department appropriations bill at the insistence of Mikulski, the Democrat who chairs the Senate Appropriations Committee. It states: “Given NOAA’s lack of cooperation and reversal of commitment, the committee has no choice but to take action and direct NOAA to close NERO (Northeast Regional Office) immediately, and to dissolve all necessary operations into existing facilities located throughout the region.”