Text: S.2695 — 116th Congress (2019-2020)All Information (Except Text)

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Reported to Senate (12/17/2019)

Calendar No. 376

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, Ms. Stabenow, Mr. Grassley, Mr. Moran, Ms. Smith, Mr. Blunt, Ms. Ernst, Mrs. Hyde-Smith, Mr. Boozman, Mr. Gardner, Mr. Thune, Mr. Shelby, Mrs. Fischer, Mr. Braun, Mr. McConnell, Mr. Hoeven, Mr. Leahy, Mr. Tester, Mr. Crapo, Mr. Casey, Mr. Perdue, Mr. Rounds, and Mr. Durbin) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry

December 17, 2019

Reported by Mr. Roberts, with amendments

[Omit the part struck through and insert the part printed in italic]


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.

(a) In general.—The National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility shall be a national security laboratory asset to provide integrated research, development, test and evaluation infrastructure, and response capabilities for defending the United States against bio- and agro-terrorism threats.

(b) Duties.—Pursuant to subsection (a), the Secretary, the Secretary of Homeland Security, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, and the heads of other appropriate Federal departments and agencies shall use the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility to protect the food supply, agriculture, and public health of the United States, including by—

(1) integrating agricultural, zoonotic disease, and other appropriate research;

(2) addressing threats from high-consequence zoonotic disease agents, emerging foreign animal diseases, and animal transboundary diseases;

(3) addressing biological incidence threats;

(4) providing appropriate education and training to address bio- and agro-defense threats and responses;

(5) sharing data and related information with appropriate Federal departments or agencies, as requested by the heads of those departments or agencies, or as necessary, to support the production of biological material threat assessments; and

(6) coordinating, partnering, and sharing data and related information to enhance the carrying out of the duties of the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility for the development of priority zoonotic animal disease diagnostics, vaccines, drugs, and other countermeasures.

SEC. 4. Research and development.

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

Pursuant to section 3, the Secretary, the Secretary of Homeland Security, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, and the heads of other appropriate Federal departments and agencies shall continually establish shared priorities for the research to be conducted in the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility and carry out research and development objectives at the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility—

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

(2) to provide advance advanced 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 diseases;

(3) to assist, as appropriate, with the development, and address vulnerability assessments, of the agriculture and food sectors; and

(4) for such other purposes as the Secretary, in consultation with the Secretary of Homeland Security, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, and the heads of other appropriate Federal departments and agencies, determines to be appropriate.

SEC. 5. Evaluation and plan.

(a) In general.—Pursuant to section 4, not less frequently than biennially, the Secretary, in coordination with the Secretary of Homeland Security, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, and the heads of other appropriate Federal departments and agencies, shall—

(1) evaluate the work of the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility;

(2) publish a strategic research plan for the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility based on risk and threat assessments; and

(3) submit to the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry of the Senate, the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs of the Senate, the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions of the Senate, the Committee on Agriculture of the House of Representatives, the Committee on Homeland Security of the House of Representatives, and the Committee on Energy and Commerce of the House of Representatives the strategic research plan described in paragraph (2).

(b) Classified information.—The strategic research plan required under subsection (a)(2)—

(1) shall be published in an unclassified format that is publically available;

(2) shall be submitted under subsection (a)(3) in unclassified form; and

(3) may include in the submission under subsection (a)(3) a classified annex for any sensitive or classified information, as necessary.

SEC. 6. Memoranda of agreement.

Not later than 90 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall enter into memoranda of agreement with the Secretary of Homeland Security, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, and the heads of other appropriate Federal departments and agencies for the use, operation, and research of the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility by those Secretaries and department and agency heads.

SEC. 7. Availability of data and congressional briefings.

(a)In general.—Every 6 months until the date described in subsection (b), the Secretary and the Secretary of Homeland Security, as appropriate, shall submit provide 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 and briefing 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

(2) the status of completion of the memoranda of agreement under section 6; and

(3) the operations and mission of the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility, including the coordination and carrying out of—

(A) the memoranda of agreement described in paragraphs (1) and (2);

(B) any successor memoranda of agreement to the memoranda of agreement described in paragraphs (1) and (2); or

(C)any 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 and briefing requirements under subsection (a) shall terminate on the date that is 2 5 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.

SEC. 8. Budget and report.

(a) Budget.—Concurrently with each budget submission to the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, the Secretary, the Secretary of Homeland Security, and the Secretary of Health and Human Services shall jointly submit to the Director of the Office of Management and Budget an integrated budget plan for the defense of the United States food system, including the operation and use of the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility.

(b) Report.—Not later than 60 days after the date on which the budget of the United States Government is submitted by the President under section 1105 of title 31, United States Code, for each fiscal year, the Secretary, the Secretary of Homeland Security, and the Secretary of Health and Human Services shall jointly submit to Congress a report describing an integrated budget plan described in subsection (a), which shall be consistent with the budget submission of the President under that section for the defense of the United States food system, including the operation and use of the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility.

SEC. 9. Effect.

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

(b) Transfer of jurisdiction.—If administrative jurisdiction over responsibility for operations of 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 7) 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.

SEC. 10. Effective date.

(a) In general.—Except as provided in subsection (b), this Act shall take effect on the date on which the initial operating capability described in the memorandum of agreement described in section 7(a)(1) takes effect.

(b) Exceptions.—Sections 7 and 8 shall take effect on the date of enactment of this Act.


Calendar No. 376

116th CONGRESS
     1st Session
S. 2695

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.

December 17, 2019
Reported with amendments
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