Brownback says NBAF gaining traction

Kansas Governor Sam Brownback said this week that the stalled National Bio- and Agro-Defense Facility in Manhattan, Kansas, could be gaining traction in the nation's capital.

"I am encouraged with what we are hearing," Brownback said, CJOnline reports. "Kansas stands ready to partner with the Department of Homeland Security to move this important national security priority forward."

Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) warned on Wednesday of a potential delay in the release of $90 million in federal funding meant for the NBAF's construction.

"Every time I've asked you questions, you expressed your support not only for the facility, but for the location and the process by which that site location was made," Moran said, according to CJOnline. "There is no reason for you, your department, not to allow the facility to proceed."

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, however, told Moran that Homeland Security still looked positively on the planned building, which would be housed near Kansas State University and focused on researching animal diseases that could be transferred to humans.

"I think it's necessary for the country, and I think it's time to fish or cut bait," Napolitano said, CJOnline reports.

Congress initially earmarked $1 billion for the project, with the Manhattan, Kansas, site chosen in 2008. Because of numerous delays, however, the project's completion date has been moved back to 2018.