The two U.S. Senators from Kansas say they won't play politics with the budget bill containing the final $300 million in federal funding for a state-of-the-art bio-security lab under construction adjacent to the Kansas State University campus. The $1.25 billion lab is scheduled to open in 2023, barring any further hurdles.
The National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility, or NBAF, will study biological threats to the U.S. food supply. Following a tour of the construction site, Sen. Jerry Moran said the project can remain on schedule, if the final congressional appropriation is approved by March.
“The issue that remains is whether Congress can function in a sufficiently workman-like manner to get the appropriations process done. Obviously an appropriation bill has to pass. I don’t think there’s any interest on the part of the vast majority of members of Congress in a government shutdown, so there’ll be an appropriation bill, and what’s already been approved in the House, approved in the Senate just needs to be in that final bill.”
Just last January, Sen. Pat Roberts joined Representatives Tim Huelskamp and Mike Pompeo in voting against the federal spending bill that included $440 million for NBAF construction. It was a way to make a statement about federal spending, heading into an election year.
Roberts says he voted no because he knew the spending bill had enough support to pass without him. “This time around," he says, "We’re down to the final, we’re gonna break the tape, after 12 years. It’s been a marathon, so rest assured I’ll be supporting it.”
See proposed Senate Bill 2534, which includes funding for NBAF.
See proposed House Bill 4903, which includes funding for NBAF.