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Press Release

    2006 Agriculture Approps Bill Busts the Budget

    Download a .pdf of the letter

    House of Representatives
    Washington, D.C. 20515

    Dear Representative,

    On October 28, the House of Representatives, by 318 to 63, approved the conference
    report for H.R. 2744, the fiscal 2006 Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug
    Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act. Unfortunately, with this vote, the
    House has violated its own rules and continues to bust the budget. On behalf of our more than
    one million members and supporters, our respective organizations remain disappointed that
    Congressional spending continues to grow.

    The conference report is $199 million over the 302(b) allocation in the fiscal 2006 budget. It
    is our understanding that the House Appropriations Committee has promised that it will recover the
    $199 million in forthcoming conference reports. However, we are concerned that the Agriculture
    conference report is the third of four appropriations conference reports that have exceeded the
    budget. Considering that the bill is loaded with pork-barrel projects such as $4.2 million for shrimp
    aquaculture, $322,000 for the Wine Grape Foundation Block, $50,000 to study shiitake mushrooms
    and $75,000 for the catfish genome project, we are skeptical of how serious the Committee is about
    saving taxpayer dollars.

    In addition to adding to an already bloated budget, the conference report in Sec. 782 renames
    the federal facility located at the South Mississippi Branch Experiment Station in Poplarville,
    Mississippi – now known as the Southern Horticultural Laboratory – as the Thad Cochran Southern
    Horticultural Laboratory. House rules prohibit the naming of a public work after a sitting member of
    Congress.

    House leadership has proposed a minimum of $50 billion in savings for mandatory spending,
    an across-the-board cut in discretionary spending, a rescissions package, and permanent elimination
    of more than 90 duplicative, wasteful and unnecessary government programs. However, with this
    recent vote, taxpayers are beginning to wonder if the House is truly serious about offsetting the costs
    of hurricane relief with cuts in wasteful spending. It is our hope that the House will exercise greater
    fiscal restraint before Congress adjourns for the year.

    Sincerely

    J. William Lauderback, Exec. Vice President
    American Conservative Union

    Grover Norquist, President
    Americans for Tax Reform

    Thomas Schatz, President
    Council for Citizens Against Government Waste

    Matt Kibbe, President and CEO
    Freedom Works

    Paul Gessing, Director of Government Affairs
    National Taxpayers Union