38 More Cosponsors will Trigger New House Rule to Move Legislationb
WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Reps. Collin Peterson (D-MN-07), Chairman of the U.S. House Committee on Agriculture, and Scott Perry (R-PA-10) — who represents the district where Penn National Race Course is located in Grantsville, Pennsylvania — are the latest to join in cosponsoring the Horseracing Integrity Act, H.R. 1754 this week, bringing the total number of cosponsors to 252.
While committee work in Congress has come to a screeching halt due to the Covid-10 pandemic, there is a clear path forward in the U.S. House for H.R. 1754 once the bill reaches 290 cosponsors due to a new rule the House Problem Solvers Caucus secured at the beginning of the 116th Congress. The new rule enabled both the Prevent All Soring Tactics (PAST) Act, H.R. 693, and the Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture (PACT) Act, H.R. 724, to avert the committee process and pass the House in 2019.
“The lives of our iconic American equines are entrusted to us, and we must do everything possible to stop the rash of breakdowns, injuries, and deaths that continue to occur in the U.S. — even amidst the Covid-19 crisis,” said Marty Irby, executive director at Animal Wellness Action, who testified before the U.S. House in support of the bill in January. “We applaud Reps. Collin Peterson and Scott Perry for joining our cause and cosponsoring the Horseracing Integrity Act.”
Animal Wellness Action has been championing H.R. 1754, led by U.S. Reps. Paul Tonko (D-NY-20) and Andy Barr (R-KY-06), that would ban the use of race-day medication in the sport, and create a uniform national standard and regulations for drug testing under the authority of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) that oversees Olympic testing, and is widely recognized as the world’s leader in eliminating medication abuse.
Peterson and Perry’s support comes on the heels of legendary trainer Bob Baffert’s recent endorsement of the legislation and dozens of federal indictments of horseracing industry insiders that came to light in March. The bill is backed by a broad base of industry players which range from The Jockey Club, The Stronach Group, The New York Racing Association, The Breeders’ Cup, Keeneland, Water Hay Oats Alliance and countless trainers, owners, and breeders invested in American horseracing.