The U.S. House of Representatives will likely vote today on its version of a Continuing Resolution (CR) to fund the federal government through the rest of FY2011. Hundreds of amendments to the CR were offered yet only 129 were heard.
One of the amendments that was offered, slashing of funds to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service's Wildlife Services (WS) program and prohibiting the management of damage to agriculture, is vehemently opposed by the sheep and cattle industries, sportsman groups and the National Rifle Association. Legislative action by supporters of the WS program, however, prevailed and Rep. Peters' (Mich.) amendment was not able to make the list of amendments ruled for consideration.
This amendment would have jeopardized the management of wildlife conflicts with human health and safety, animal disease management and production of food on family farms and ranches. It would also put cooperative funds supplied by states and local governments for WS operations in jeopardy.
Another amendment the sheep industry has been following pertains to the Equal Access to Justice Act (EAJA), which allows individuals, small businesses and non-profit organizations to recover attorney's fees and costs associated with suing the federal government.
Rep. Cynthia Lummis (Wyo.) offered Amendment 195 to halt payments authorized by the EAJA. The amendment was approved and puts a six-month moratorium on all payments from EAJA to give Congress the time to study the issue and make necessary changes. ASI policy supports the efforts of Rep. Lummis.