Since political hacks are inclined to take credit for the sun coming up every day, I will be the first to declare victory in my ongoing campaign against the USDA Graduate School. An alert reader (holy crap! I have readers?) points me to this little passage in HR 6124 which became law in June.
`(B) TERMINATION OF AUTHORITY- The authority under paragraph (1) shall terminate on the earlier of–
`(i) the completion of the transition of the Graduate School to an entity that is non-governmental and not a nonappropriated fund instrumentality of the United States, as determined by the Secretary; or
`(A) IN GENERAL- The Secretary of Agriculture is authorized to use funds available to the Department of Agriculture and such resources of the Department as the Secretary considers appropriate (including the assignment of such employees of the Department as the Secretary considers appropriate) to assist the General Administrative Board of the Graduate School in the conversion of the Graduate School to an entity that is non-governmental and not a nonappropriated fund instrumentality of the United States, including such privatization activities not otherwise inconsistent with law or regulation.
`(1) CEASE OPERATIONS- Not later than October 1, 2009, the Secretary of Agriculture shall cease to maintain or operate a nonappropriated fund instrumentality of the United States to develop, administer, or provide educational training and professional development activities, including educational activities for Federal agencies, Federal employees, non-profit organizations, other entities, and members of the general public.
`(ii) September 30, 2009.’.
That’s right! The ridiculous waste of taxpayer time that is the USDA Graduate School must become a private entity or close its doors by October of next year.
Having flaunted its tax status to engage in direct competition with schools that don’t get such breaks, while still claiming to be “non-governmental” the USDA boxed itself into a corner. Apparently someone in government realized the ridiculous contradiction in calling it an NAFI while allowing it to use its government connection to skirt laws. So language was inserted to pull the plug on this $60 million boondoggle.
All I can say is it’s about time. Thank you to whatever House staffer followed my gripes about this and finally had the stones to kill it. Now the next question is, what bloated piece of bureaucratic crap do I set my sights on next?
P.S. I don’t actually believe I had anything to do with getting this killed, but I’ll be the first to pop the cork on a champagne bottle next October 1.
Update: My dear friend Anne was the first person to point out the absurd government abuse that is the USDA Graduate School. Any part I played in in getting it closed (which was none, but ignore that) starts with her.