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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

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.


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