Senate Bill 2695
116th Congress(2019-2020)
National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility Act of 2019
Introduced
Introduced
Introduced in Senate on Oct 24, 2019
Overview
Text
S. 2695 (Introduced-in-Senate)


116th CONGRESS
1st Session
S. 2695


To authorize the Secretary of Agriculture to provide for the defense of United States agriculture and food through the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility, and for other purposes.


IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

October 24, 2019

Mr. Roberts (for himself and Ms. Stabenow) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry


A BILL

To authorize the Secretary of Agriculture to provide for the defense of United States agriculture and food through the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. Short title.

This Act may be cited as the “National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility Act of 2019”.

SEC. 2. Definitions.

In this Act:

(1) ANIMAL.—The term “animal” has the meaning given the term in section 10403 of the Animal Health Protection Act (7 U.S.C. 8302).

(2) SECRETARY.—The term “Secretary” means the Secretary of Agriculture.

(3) TRANSBOUNDARY DISEASE.—The term “transboundary disease” has the meaning given the term in section 12203(a) of the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (7 U.S.C. 8914(a)).

(4) VETERINARY COUNTERMEASURE.—The term “veterinary countermeasure” has the meaning given the term in section 10403 of the Animal Health Protection Act (7 U.S.C. 8302).

SEC. 3. National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility.

(a) In general.—The Secretary shall carry out the relevant responsibilities of the Secretary under Homeland Security Presidential Directive 9 (relating to the defense of United States agriculture and food) and the national biodefense strategy developed under section 1086 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017 (6 U.S.C. 104) by acting, as appropriate, through the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility as a national security laboratory asset of the national biodefense enterprise to provide integrated research, development, and test and evaluation infrastructure for defending against bio- and agro-terrorism threats.

(b) Duties.—Pursuant to subsection (a), the Secretary shall use the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility—

(1) to integrate agricultural, zoonotic disease, and public health research;

(2) to address threats from human pathogens, high-consequence zoonotic disease agents, emerging foreign animal diseases, and animal transboundary diseases;

(3) to address biological incidence threats;

(4) to provide training; and

(5) to coordinate, partner, and share data and information with the Secretary of Homeland Security, including the support of the production of biological material threat assessments.

SEC. 4. Research and development.

Pursuant to section 3, the Secretary shall carry out research and development objectives—

(1) to develop veterinary countermeasures for emerging foreign animal diseases and animal transboundary diseases;

(2) to provide advance test, diagnostic, and evaluation capability for threat detection, vulnerability assessment, and veterinary countermeasure assessment for animal and zoonotic diseases; and

(3) for such other purposes as the Secretary determines to be appropriate.

SEC. 5. Evaluation.

Pursuant to section 4, not less frequently than biennially, the Secretary, in coordination with the Secretary of Homeland Security and the heads of other relevant agencies, shall evaluate and update the strategic research plan for the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility based on risk and threat assessments.

SEC. 6. Availability of data.

(a) Congressional report.—Every 6 months until the date described in subsection (b), the Secretary and the Secretary of Homeland Security, as appropriate, shall submit to the Committees on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry and Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs of the Senate and the Committees on Agriculture and Homeland Security of the House of Representatives a report describing—

(1) progress under each phase described in the memorandum of agreement entitled “Memorandum of Agreement Between the U.S. Department of Agriculture Marketing and Regulatory Programs, the U.S. Department of Agriculture Research, Education, and Economics, and the Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate” and dated June 20, 2019, that is not completed as of the date of enactment of this Act; and

(2) the operations and mission, including coordination, under any successor memorandum of agreement, or similar joint agreement or understanding, between the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Homeland Security, or other relevant agencies, that documents the biodefense mission of the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility.

(b) Termination.—The reporting requirement under subsection (a) shall terminate on the date that is 2 years after the date on which the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility attains full operating capability.

(c) Effective date.—This section shall take effect on the date of enactment of this Act.

SEC. 7. Effect.

(a) In general.—Nothing in this Act requires the Secretary to have administrative jurisdiction over the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility.

(b) Transfer of jurisdiction.—If administrative jurisdiction over the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility is transferred from the Secretary to another Federal agency, any reference in this Act (other than section 6) to the Secretary shall be deemed to be a reference to the head of that Federal agency.

SEC. 8. Effective date.

Except for section 6, this Act shall take effect on the date on which all phases in the memorandum of agreement described in section 6(a)(1) are completed.