The Honorable Paul Ryan


U.S. House of Representatives

Washington, D.C. 20515


The Honorable Kevin McCarthy

Majority Leader

U.S. House of Representatives

Washington, D.C. 20515


The Honorable Steve Scalise

Majority Whip

U.S. House of Representatives

Washington. D.C. 20515


Dear Speaker Ryan, Majority Leader McCarthy, and Majority Whip Scalise,

On behalf of the more than one million members and supporters of the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste (CCAGW) and the members of the undersigned organizations, we urge you to call for a vote on S. J. Res. 28, the nullification of the wasteful catfish inspection program rule.

The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) catfish inspection program cost the taxpayers $19.9 million to establish and another $14 million annually to maintain. The Government Accountability Office has identified this multi-million dollar program as duplicative 10 times: in February 2011, March 2011, May 2012, February 2013, April 2013, April 2014, December 2014, February 2015, April 2015, and April 2016.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) accomplishes the same mission as the USDA’s program, but at an annual cost of only $700,000. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) once said of the program, “unless catfish have suddenly sprouted legs, USDA should stick to meat, poultry, and egg inspections.” The USDA has no jurisdiction to inspect catfish, let alone at this costly price.

Yet USDA and proponents of the agency’s duplicative program claim the “catfish office” is necessary because the USDA identified a shipment of catfish that had chemical residue. However, the USDA failed to acknowledge that the shipment was discovered based on FDA’s targeting data.

The USDA catfish inspection program is a ridiculous waste of taxpayer money at a time when the federal government must tighten its belt. The elimination of this duplicative and unnecessary program should be an easy vote for fiscal conservatives. The Senate has voted to eliminate this wasteful program, and we now call upon the House of Representatives to do the same.



Tom Schatz

President, CCAGW


Wayne Crews

President, Competitive Enterprise Institute


Grover Norquist

President, Americans for Tax Reform


Andrew Moylan

Executive Director, R Street Institute


Jeff Mazzella

President, Center for Individual Freedom


David Williams

President, Taxpayers Protection Alliance


Heather Higgins

President and CEO, Independent Women’s Voice


Steve Ellis

Vice President, Taxpayers for Common Sense


Karen Kerrigan

President and CEO, Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council


Pete Sepp

President, National Taxpayers Union