Senate panel advances funding to combat brucellosis threat in Montana

Measure will help livestock producers monitor, manage disease risk

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – Senator Jon Tester and his colleagues on the Senate Appropriations Committee have passed legislation that will help Montana livestock producers fight and manage the threat of brucellosis, Tester and Senator Max Baucus announced today.

The Senate Agriculture Appropriations Act contains funding for the Montana Department of Livestock's Brucellosis Management to help prevent brucellosis outbreaks and monitor livestock for the disease in the Greater Yellowstone area.

Montana Board of Livestock executive officer Christian Mackay says the funding will provide needed support to Montana’s ranchers.

“Montana's livestock producers appreciate Senator Tester's and Senator Baucus’ efforts to secure funding for the Greater Yellowstone Interagency Brucellosis Committee,” Mackay said.  “Brucellosis is an important issue for Montana, and this sort of funding helps get us toward the end goal of solving the problem.”

Under the current legislation, Greater Yellowstone area livestock producers would receive $650,000 to combat the threat of brucellosis.  The legislation must first pass the full Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives before the funding can be signed into law.

“Brucellosis is a big challenge for the folks in Montana’s ranching families,” Tester said.  “This funding is an important investment to help meet that challenge.  And it’s a step toward making sure that ranching stays a viable option for our kids and grandkids and for the future of Montana’s economy.”

“This is welcome news for livestock producers across Montana who deal with the risk of brucellosis risk,” Baucus said.  “I’m proud of this funding.  It means that ranchers in our state will have the support they need until we can finally put an end to this disease and the costs associated with it.”

For a list of funding for Montana under the Agriculture Appropriations Act, click HERE.

What is an appropriations bill?
  • A federal appropriations bill funds the federal government.  12 appropriations bills will fund the federal government for the next Fiscal Year.
  • Less than one half of one percent of these appropriations bills consist of congressionally directed funding (also called “earmarks”).  This funding is not additional spending for the federal government, nor does it increase federal deficit.  Rather, it is a set of directions telling the government where it must use existing funds.
  • In the past, appropriations funding had been abused by anonymous requests with little transparency.
  • Since 2007, the process was overhauled to guarantee transparency and fair debate in Congress.
  • All of Tester’s and Baucus’ appropriations requests are online HERE and HERE.