Despite the trade implications, lawmakers face a harsh reality. The creation of a vaccine and conducting research takes money, and while more funding for the Georgia lab is packed into the federal appropriations process, those proposed spending bills appear destined for a political logjam.
When Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), during a July 7 hearing, asked David Swayne, director of the USDA lab in Athens, what lawmakers could do to help, the response he got was unequivocal.
“Please don’t have another sequestration,” Swayne said. “That will shut us down.”
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