Moran: Homeland funding bill to pay for Agro-Defense Facility

Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) | Courtesy of the U.S. Senate

Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) said Friday that the Homeland Security Appropriations Bill for fiscal year 2015, released by the House of Representatives, includes $300 million for the construction of the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF).

Moran said the amount is equal to the previous year's funding commitment from the Senate Appropriations Committee, adding that passage of this bill will be critical for the NBAF to be up and running in Manhattan, Kansas.

“As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, I am committed to making certain NBAF remains a top priority,” Moran said. "I am hopeful this final funding will soon be passed by both Houses of Congress and ultimately help create jobs for Kansans in the fields of engineering, science and technology. The talented young men and women who grow up here will have more opportunities to work and live in Kansas, which is poised to become a research epicenter.”

The bill was stalled at the end of the previous legislative session after an executive order from President Obama that gave amnesty to undocumented immigrants in the country. As a result, funding for the Department of Homeland Security and its related projects will remain at 2014 levels until Feb. 27, courtesy of a continuing resolution. The appropriations bill is set to fund the remainder of 2015.

The facility will be adjacent to the Kansas State University campus and will employ approximately 326 full time, plus over 700 construction a 2012 economic-impact report said. The center will focus on biological agents that could pose a threat to national security and to the nation's agriculture in the form of sickened livestock and crop diseases.