A committee organized by Governor Sam Brownback will be working over the coming months to secure funding for a federal lab in Manhattan. But that could be a challenge with all the talk of cutting the federal budget in Washington. Kansas Senator Pat Roberts will head the committee. The National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility, or NBAF, will study animal and plant diseases that could threaten the nation’s food supply. Roberts is confident they’ll be able to get funding for the 650 million dollar project, despite calls for cutting the budget.
Roberts says the current facility is an aging lab on Plum Island in New York, so the country doesn’t have any other options, except to build NBAF:
Congress has already approved 40 million dollars to start construction of the lab. President Obama has requested another 150 million in his budget, but Roberts says House members have already cut that amount in half. The Senate has yet to take up the issue of NBAF funding for the next budget.