Lawmakers would keep USDA sourcing restraints

H.R.2744: Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies

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House appropriators are seeking to renew language restricting competitive-sourcing studies at the Agriculture Department, much to the Bush administration’s dismay.

The Appropriations Committee’s markup of USDA's fiscal 2006 spending bill includes language that would prevent the department from spending money on competitive-sourcing studies related to rural development or farm loan programs. The full House is considering the Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies appropriations bill today. The same clause was included as part of the fiscal 2005 omnibus spending bill.

Administration officials issued June 7 a statement of policy opposing the restriction, stating that competitive-sourcing studies conducted in fiscal 2004 will save USDA $174 million during the next five years. The administration “has adopted a reasoned and responsible approach for applying public/private competition to commercial activities,” the statement reads.

About the Author

David Perera is a special contributor to Defense Systems.

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