How the Meat Lobby Hacked the Sequester

The hamburger lobbyists have earned their meat for this year. As sequester loomed, along with the prospect of the shutdown of plants and federal inspectors furloughed, the guys on K-Street went to work. No doubt a bunch of free sirloin dinners were served at dining establishments around Capitol Hill leading up to deliberations.

(From The Washington Post)

Last week, President Obama signed a spending bill that gave the Agriculture Department’s food inspectors what everybody else wanted: a get-out-of-the-sequester card. Their program got $55 million in new money, which replaced almost all of what the sequester took.

There’s a story there, about how power and lobbying can still make money appear in Washington, even in this age of austerity. It started with sharp political theater.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack insisted that the sequester would force him to shut down all U.S. meat production on at least 11 days.

The inspectors union didn’t believe that.

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