On Wednesday the House of Representatives voted to pass H.R. 1464, the Great Cats and Rare Canids Act of 2008, sponsored by Rep. Tom Udall (D-NM), the next Senator from New Mexico.
Rep. Jeff Flake took a break from bashing America's hardworking middle-class families to express his hatred of defenseless and endangered cats by voting no.
As the astute blogger That's My Congress notes,
The legislation provides for the financial support of conservation programs around the world that protect endangered wild cats and dogs. In the case of wildcats, every species on Earth is endangered. Half of wild dog species, ranging from the red wolf to the arctic fox, are in danger of going extinct.
The bill was passed in the House of Representatives late yesterday afternoon, but only barely. With just a few more votes against it, the Great Cats and Rare Canids Act would have been killed, and programs to conserve these magnificent animals would have been cut off from support.
119 members of Congress voted against this law.
Why? Why would anyone vote to deprive conservation programs for endangered species of support?
Could it be money? Could it be that 119 members of Congress decided that, as much as they like the idea of protecting wild cats and canids from extinction, it would be fiscally irresponsible to spend the money?
That explanation doesn’t hold up, if you do the math. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the total expense for the Great Cats and Rare Canids Act of 2008 in 2009 would be only 7 million dollars. Compare that to the supplementary war spending Congress is set to approve: 168.9 billion dollars. Remember that, as supplementarywar spending, that 168.9 billion dollars is in addition to the hundreds of billions already in the federal budget to pay for war war.
7 million dollars next to 168.9 billion dollars is like a grain of sand next to an ostrich egg.
It makes no sense for anyone in Congress to deny the seven million dollars in funding for felid and canid conservation, and then to vote in favor of throwing hundreds and hundreds of billions of dollars away on war.
This was a bipartisan conservation bill, with some Republicans among the co-sponsors, and even more Republicans voting in favor. However, opposition to the Great Cats and Rare Canids Act was not at all bipartisan. Of the 119 members of the House voting against the bill, only one was a Democrat.
That's My Congress ends by nominating Jeff Flake for the Congressional Coalition Against Cats.
Obviously it's no surprise that a do-nothing congressman like Jeff Flake, who wouldn't lift a pinky to help struggling American middle class families, couldn't give a shit about helping members of the cat family.
Unless, of course, they're the Maker's Mark-swilling, cigar-chomping, arugula-eating Club for Growth fat cats who've lined elitist Jeff Flake's campaign coffers to the tune of a cool million.
This blog post is dedicated to the memory of Eisenhower, the best cat who ever lived on East 54th Street between Snyder and Tilden Avenues in East Flatbush, Brooklyn, in the 1950s.