Bipartisan effort endorsed by U.S. Chamber of Commerce and coalition of taxpayer advocates

January 09, 2014

(Washington, DC) – Business leaders and a coalition of taxpayer advocates are endorsing a bipartisan effort led by U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and John McCain (R-AZ) to eliminate a duplicative and wasteful U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) catfish inspection program, underscoring the strong support that exists behind the push to save taxpayers millions of dollars. This week, both the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and large coalition of taxpayer advocacy groups, including the Taxpayers Protection Alliance and the Council on Citizens Against Government Waste, specifically pointed to the duplicity, cost and trade barriers of the USDA catfish program that highlights the need to eliminate it. Shaheen will continue to advocate for a vote in the Farm Bill conference committee to include language that eliminates the duplicative program.

For months, Shaheen and McCain have pushed to eliminate the USDA catfish program, which duplicates inspection efforts already carried out by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) while costing taxpayers $30 million to set up and $15 million to operate annually. 

“This program is a giant waste of taxpayer money,” Shaheen said.  “It’s ridiculous that taxpayers are paying for two programs to inspect catfish.  Eliminating this duplicative program will save taxpayers millions. Elimination of the USDA catfish inspection program is a matter of common sense and I hope that it will receive a vote in the Farm Bill conference committee.”

Last year, Shaheen introduced legislation with McCain and offered an amendment to the Farm Bill that would have eliminated the program. Since then, both have repeatedly called on Senate leadership to allow for a vote on their proposal.