From The Washington Times:

The way Congress’ chief watchdog describes it, the government’s plan to set up a new catfish inspection process is one of the clearest examples of wasteful spending in the federal budget.

Yet killing the catfish inspection program is proving to be tremendously difficult for all the usual Washington reasons: a powerful patron in Congress, a weak administration controlling the agencies and a pliant Congress happy to limp into the next election on autopilot.

The cost-cutters did win a round last week when deficit-hawk Republicans linked arms with Democrats who were eager to find places to trim the budget. Combined, they voted 55-43 to stop the duplicate catfish inspection by the Food Safety and Inspection Service and shift it back to the Food and Drug Administration, which had been handling it for years.

But victory for the cost-cutters is anything but assured. The House must still vote, and then the change must survive President Obama’s veto pen.

The amount of money at stake isn’t much — somewhere south of $15 million a year — but it sparked a whale of a fight on the Senate floor, where Republicans questioned their party colleagues’ commitment to conservative principles.

“Don’t come to the floor and call yourself a fiscal conservative,” Sen. John McCain, Arizona Republican, thundered to his high-spending colleagues. “Vote however you want, but don’t come back to the floor when you see a duplicative or wasteful program and say you are all for saving the taxpayers’ dollars, because you are voting to…

Continue Reading