From ANIMAL PEOPLE, July/August 1998:
WASHINGTON D.C.––Wiley Coyote almost won a
round on June 23, as the House of Representatives voted 229 to
193 in favor of a bill introduced by Peter DeFazio (D-Oregon)
and Charles Bass (R-New Hampshire) to cut $10 million, the
cost of predator killing programs, from the fiscal 1999 USDA
Wildlife Services budget of $28.8 million––a cut four times
deeper than President Bill Clinton proposed in January.
The funding was almost certain to have been restored
in the Senate, where the 17 western states whose ranchers most
use Wildlife Services have proportionally far more clout, but
taking no chances, Wildlife Services senior staff and livestock
industry representatives lobbied through the night.
Congressional allies then demanded a revote on June 24, which
rescinded the cut, 232-192.
Despite losing an apparent landmark victory, predator
advocates remained encouraged at retaining 53 more votes
against Wildlife Services than ever before were mustered. The
previous high of 139 votes came in 1996, when Wildlife
Services was still called Animal Damage Control.
“We’ll keep at it,” pledged Tom Skeele, executive
director of the Predator Project, an activist group headquartered
in Bozeman, Montana.