WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) along with U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), a member of the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee, announced the Fiscal Year 2014 Homeland Security Appropriations Bill was approved with bipartisan support by the Senate Appropriations Committee. The bill includes $404 million for construction of the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF), an amount equal to the U.S. House of Representatives approved appropriations bill and a critical step forward for the lab under construction in Manhattan, Kan.
“It’s an objective fact,” Sen. Roberts said. “The nation needs NBAF. Every delay leaves the American people and the American food supply at greater risk. Another important step toward completion was made today as $404 million for construction of the NBAF made it out of committee and is now on its way to the Senate floor. We need to get this done, and I look forward to broad bipartisan support of the NBAF on the Senate floor.”
“As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, I’m committed to making certain NBAF remains a top priority,” Sen. Moran said. “This bill is good news for Kansas and for the country: it means we’re on the way to constructing a modern, world-class facility — a vital component to protect Americans against biological threats. A great aspect for Kansas is that NBAF’s construction is yet another opportunity to develop our state as a research epicenter, ultimately creating jobs for Kansans in the fields of engineering, science and technology.”
The main laboratory will boast safety and security features recommended by the National Academies of Sciences. It will include specialized air and water decontamination systems, new technologies for handling solid waste onsite, and structural components to strengthen the laboratory against hazardous weather conditions. A funding commitment was also made to provide infrastructure repairs at the Plum Island Animal Disease Center to guarantee a smooth transition of research from Plum Island, N.Y., to Manhattan, Kan.
The committee approved bill now awaits passage by the full U.S. Senate.