Jenkins: Budget confirms NBAF a priority

U.S. Representative Lynn Jenkins (R-Kan.) recently commented on the inclusion of funding for the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility in President Barack Obama's Fiscal Year 2014 budget proposal.

The NBAF is a proposed biocontainment facility for the study of foreign animal, zoonotic and emerging diseases threatening U.S. public health and agriculture. After an extensive three-year site selection process, Manhattan, Kan., was selected as the location for the NBAF. The facility would be built on a site on the campus of Kansas State University.

"I may not agree with many provisions in President Obama's FY2014 budget proposal released earlier today, but I am pleased that it recognized the importance of funding initiatives vital to our country's health and national security," Jenkins said.

The NBAF is meant to replace the aging Plum Island Animal Disease Center, which has served as the primary facility in the U.S. for animal disease research for the past 50 years. In February, the Department of Homeland Security awarded the NBAF central utility plant construction contract.

"The president's budget includes $714 million for completion of the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility to study foreign threats and diseases," Jenkins said. "This is yet another confirmation that the NBAF facility at Kansas State University in Manhattan is a federal priority that will improve the government's ability to protect Americans by securing our nation's food supply. This is a fundamental responsibility of the federal government, and I will continue to ensure this mission-critical project continues to move forward."

If the construction of the NBAF continues as planned, construction of the main laboratory will commence in 2014.