Senate Ag passes bill on NBAF and lands

The Senate Agriculture Committee by unanimous voice vote today approved a bill to affirm to ensure coordination of the management of the National Bio and AgroDefense Facility (NBAF) under construction in Kansas along the Agriculture Department and the Homeland Security Department and other federal agencies.

“Today’s passage of this legislation means we are one step closer to securing a more robust defense of our nation’s agriculture and food supply,” said Roberts. “The NBAF will be a critical part of America’s national security efforts, and I encourage the full Senate to take up this important legislation.”

A Christmas tree in the reception area of the Senate Agriculture Committee office is decorated with popcorn. A receptionist said the popcorn was strung by the staff. (Jerry Hagstrom/The Hagstrom Report)

Senate Agriculture Committee ranking member Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., noted that the facility is “a new responsibility for the USDA and will require additional funding. We also need to ensure that funding will not take dollars away from other critical research and animal disease programs at the department. To address this, the manager’s amendment includes new language to encourage coordination and ensure that all federal agencies conducting research in the new facility will submit a joint budget request for funding.”

The committee also approved by voice vote a bill to release a federal reversionary interest in Chester County, Tenn., and to manage certain federal land in Bath County, Va.

“The lands package will improve public land management in Tennessee and Virginia, including protecting 5,600 acres of national forest land as wilderness,” Stabenow said.

–The Hagstrom Report