Tuesday, May 23, 2006
The fiscal 2007 Agriculture appropriations bill passed today by the House Of Representatives withholds spending for the National Animal Identification program (NAIS).
The USDA has stated that it's preparatory Congressional reporting responsibility is limited, specifically... they do not plan to make a cost estimate because the program requires ranchers and farmers to report the information to a private entity, not the government.
The spending bill directly challenges this by stating that the USDA is prohibited from spending any funds on the program until Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns submits to the Appropriations Committee "a complete and detailed plan, including but not limited to proposed legislative changes, cost estimates and means of program evaluation."
An attempt by Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, to stop all funding for the program was voted down by a count of 389 to 34.
Stay tuned, folks... No matter which side of this battle you're on you won't be satisfied when the final outcome is announced.