Senate cuts proposed NAIS funding to $7.3 million
By Sally Schuff | Feedstuffs.com
The Senate’s proposal to provide $14.6 million in funding for the National Animal Identification System (NAIS) was cut in half Monday; Sens. Jon Tester (D., Mont) and Mike Enzi (R. Wyo.) asked for the cut in an amendment offered during floor debate on the $23.6 billion agricultural spending bill for fiscal 2010
.The amendment also limited use of the funding to USDA rulemaking on the beleaguered program, which failed to gain any industry support during a series of listening sessions held by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.
The funding issue now goes to a conference with the House bill, which zeroed out NAIS funding at the request of House agricultural appropriations subcommittee chairwoman, Rep. Rosa DeLauro. DeLauro said during debate on the House bill that Congress had spent $140 million on the program and “gotten next to nothing.”
R-CALF and the Western Organization of Resource Councils, groups representing grassroots livestock producers were quick to praise the Senate action, although WORC said it would have preferred to see the Senate follow the House and zero out funding.