Money for construction of the lab at the National Bio and Agro Defense Facility is not included in a federal budget deal making its way through Congress, U.S. Rep. Tim Huelskamp said in a written statement Monday.
Huelskamp’s statement contradicted a report from the Associated Press last Friday indicating that the money was part of the budget deal. The Mercury published that report. Earlier reports written by Mercury reporters, based on comments from staffers of U.S. senators, indicated that the NBAF funding was not part of the deal, but that it could be funded during the appropriations process that would follow.
“Recent statements and news reports claiming the Ryan-Murray budget deal included funding for NBAF are completely inaccurate,” Huelskamp said. “This deal did not include any appropriations. (It) did not identify spending for any specific program, agency or project.
“With or without passage of this deal, the current funding for the federal government expires on Jan. 15,” Huelskamp said. “The House, Senate and President have until that date to pass a spending bill. We can appropriately comment on what may or may not have been included for NBAF at that time.”
Huelskamp voted against the budget deal but has said he’s a “strong supporter of NBAF.”