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In this episode of the foxhole talking now about one of the ugliest creatures to rise to the top of the media swing here in Washington recently.
Just under the surface -- debate has been bubbling on Capitol Hill in recent weeks it concerns the 2008 farm bill.
Which transferred authority for inspection of the catfish.
From the FDA to the USD day.
But I part of that -- has never been fully implemented but in the meantime the Government Accountability Office has reported that the USDA catfish inspection regime.
Is on track to cost taxpayers are EU 150 million over ten years by some estimates this program has already cost twenty million dollar since 2008.
With not a single fish as yet inspected in the furtherance of -- job the FDA -- no known outbreaks of disease is still performing.
Republican congresswoman -- hearts -- Missouri recently introduced an amendment -- current legislation.
That would have killed the US TA program but it was defeated in the house agriculture committee.
Others who -- opposed to the USDA plan include the National Taxpayers Union and the national fisheries institute joining us now to help us digest all of this.
And I promise you will be my last seafood metaphor.
Is Tom -- familiar to viewers of the news.
As the longtime president of Citizens Against Government Waste one of the -- good government watchdog groups in the country you can follow Tom on Twitter.
I go to waste and -- first things first should your Twitter handle not -- -- waste but something that honors the opposite sentiment like.
-- -- we're working on that are working -- very but it's a pretty clear indication of what we're trying to do identify expose government -- with the objective of making the government more for how long have you been president of this organization since 1991 OK so.
And tell us about this catfish inspection regiment.
You've got to government agencies -- now dedicated to doing this as a matter of the law right.
Really originated with the members and senators from Mississippi where a lot of catfish are farmed and the objection was really to the Vietnamese version of catfish it's.
Really a whole different species but -- competes with the US -- catfish and they wanted to keep it out.
So that he said will have the US TA you come up with a definition that would cover them and make it much more difficult to port this kind of fish.
And so far.
Nothing's -- US fears looked at -- they haven't changed the definition or even really define how they would do this and they spent about twenty million doing nothing.
Incredible me and and you shudder to think what twenty million -- -- Carter across a whole range of government services.
Who who's in favor of this.
-- the industry it's protectionist like many other parts of the farm bill sugar dairy peanuts and everything in there is protecting someone or some thing ethanol.
It's really all of doubt keeping out other forms of competition keeping the status quo a lot of the farm programs go back to the 1930s not the catfish provision obviously but.
This is one of many reasons why.
Very much opposed to the whole farm bill lot of groups like CW.
Have gone out and said we don't -- to at all in the catfish.
Provision is another reason but when we -- the industry is for this for example we just noted that the the national fisheries institute is not for this little I guess a lot of elements of the the seafood industry and so forth feel like this is duplicative and unnecessary and perhaps going to.
Hurt business and when I say the industry I really mean the catfish industry not.
Everyone else who produces or destroy -- distributes other kinds of fish.
Because they don't want to do inspection in their plans most plans have all kinds of fish coming -- so they would have.
The FDA -- and all their seafood in the USDA coming in whenever Kathy showed up from Vietnam and mine had not -- domestic -- she's this distinction one political party or another this is this the the support for this USDA catfish inspection regiment it is strictly regional based on where the catfish is produced the senate in fact.
Eliminated this provision in its version of the farm bill senators McCain and -- normally you wouldn't see them on the same side but they got together.
Senate said let's eliminate this program that was created for the first time in 2008 it's a big waste of money.
The house agriculture committee.
Did not accept the similar amendment from congresswoman are insular and the chairman and ranking member in -- opposed her.
And then came out with -- it's outrageously expensive farm bill has small provision but important to point out.
They wouldn't even change that.
Now it's important for viewers to understand that the the current farm bill if you will.
Which has more letters than just FA RN in it but it's called -- farm bill.
Contain no language about the US TA catfish inspection regime or anything like that put the horse -- amendment.
Was to current legislation the current farm bill.
To overturn the 2008 law that gave USDA this authority and that's what was voted down in the house side committee correct that's correct and that was by -- vote I think of 25 to twenty.
And among the 25 words you say the chairman of the house agriculture committee.
Who is Frank Lucas from Oklahoma Republican.
And also are joining him in that vote was the ranking member from the out of the house senate committee.
That's Collin Peterson of Minnesota and we made them the -- of the month last month that wasn't specifically for the -- this revision widgets were putting out this.
Ridiculously expensive farm -- okay we should point out that both of those lawmakers that we just mentioned and the house agriculture committee.
Simply suggest that the fox hole that they think that.
Tom -- and Citizens Against Government Waste way out of line in naming them -- -- of the month.
And you can read more about all of this online what else you working on right now besides the -- issue.
Just trying to make sure people understand how much of their money's being wasted looking at the appropriations process still be what's called a continuing resolution.
Which will extend spending for six months certainly going to make sure there are no seeking earmarks in the area when -- -- be -- on they'll be voted on September.
Were also working on of course the fiscal cliff sequestration.
And the tax cuts.
That will this tax cuts will expire at the end of the year sequestration will take place in January.
And CA GW has produced many years of publication called prime cuts.
One point two trillion in savings over five years and then there's the Government Accountability Office they've identified 400 billion in waste and duplication.
Annually billion except for one -- million north and garlic site and so you could save a lot of money just by eliminating duplication waste Tom Schatz thank you so much for joining us always a pleasure to have you.
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