White House budget reacts to GAO report praising Hartzler catfish inspection bill

Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler’s (MO-4) legislation to trim duplicative catfish inspection programs is cited by a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report as one of several examples of where the federal government could save taxpayer dollars each year. And, the White House has reacted by including elimination of the wasteful spending in President Obama’s 2014 budget. The GAO, known as the government’s watchdog, claims trimming the duplicative catfish inspection program and eliminating other wasteful expenditures could save the federal government tens of billions of dollars.

 “I am pleased that the GAO report supports the goal of my bill to eliminate duplicative catfish inspections,” said Hartzler. “And it is satisfying to see the President’s budget react positively to our call to remove this duplicative program by including the elimination in his budget. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) currently inspects all commercial seafood, but a provision in the 2008 Farm Bill would move catfish inspection to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), with a price tag of $30 million in start-up costs and at least $14 million each following year for the USDA to train inspectors and to run the program.”

“I have said all along that we do not need two government agencies inspecting seafood,” added Hartzler. “With the money our government could save by eliminating catfish inspection duplication and other wastes of taxpayer dollars, we could address budget cuts that are negatively impacting our national defense.”

 Congresswoman Hartzler, a member of the House Agriculture Committee, is the chief sponsor of a bipartisan bill addressing the duplicative catfish inspection program. The legislation would end the duplicative waste without affecting the safety of catfish intended for human consumption.