Skip to content

No HPA Legislation in 113th Congress



PAST Act Fails To Come To Vote

The House of Representatives will wrap up the 113th Congress in the next couple of days and no more votes will be taken as the House of Representatives waits on the Senate to wrap up the budget bill.  As a result, the PAST Act will not pass in this Congress and will have to be refiled in the new Congress after the first of the year.

The PAST Act was written in a joint effort by Congressman Ed Whitfield (R-KY), American Veterinary Medical Association, (AVMA) Chief Executive Ron DeHaven, American Horse Council President Jay Hickey and Humane Society of the United States’ Keith Dane and introduced in April 2013.  The PAST Act was a top priority for the HSUS and garnered widespread support in the house with 307 representatives signing on as co-sponsors.  Of those 307, 190 were democrats and 117 were republicans.

The PAST Act would have prohibited the use of pads and action devices, along with weighted shoes in the Tennessee Walking Horse industry as well as in the Racking and Spotted Saddle Horse breeds.  The bill would also have abolished the HIO self-regulatory system and turned complete regulatory and enforcement authority over to the USDA.

The Senate companion bill was filed by Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) and amassed 59 co-sponsors in the Senate.  Of those 59, 48 were democrats, 9 republicans and 2 independents.  The bill was placed on the Senate calendar in September of this year after going through committee and was “hotlined” on December 8, 2014 in an effort to pass the bill by unanimous consent however that was averted when at least one Republican senator put a hold on the bill.

Additional legislation was filed by Representative Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) and Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) that would have also amended the HPA to include objective, science-based testing and a single, independent HIO under the oversight of the USDA to regulate the industry.  Neither H.R. 4098 nor S. 2193 will pass in this Congress either.  H.R. 4098 had the full support of the Tennessee Republican delegation in the House of Representatives along with House Appropriations Chair Hal Rogers (R-KY).  The Senate version, S. 2193 was co-sponsored by both Rand Paul and Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.  McConnell will most likely by the Senate Majority Leader in the new Congress.

Although the PAST Act didn’t pass in this Congress, the fight over the change to the HPA is not over.  When recently discussing the PAST Act and its failure in this Congress, HSUS President Wayne Pacelle stated, “This is our top legislative priority.”  What is unclear is given the recent ethics inquiries into Rep. Whitfield if Whitfield will be HSUS choice to introduce the PAST Act in the new Congress.
 

More Stories

  • Lifetime Achievement Award

    Read More
  • Alexander Statement on 2020 Senate Election

    United States Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) released the following statement... Read More
  • Obituary – William K. 'Billy' Hale

    William K. “Billy” Hale, Sr., age 85, passed away Tuesday, December 11, 2018 in Avon Park, FL after a long term illness... Read More
  • 50 Years of Celebrating WHTA Horse of the Year

    It was that time of year again when many came from all across the country to meet for the annual Walking Horse Trainers' Association Banquet. This year, the event was moved back to the Cool Springs Marriott in Franklin, Tennessee where it had been held for many, many years... Read More
  • USDA attends Trainers meeting

    The Walking Horse Trainers’ Association (WHTA) held their general membership meeting at the Cool Springs Marriott on December 14th. Representatives from the United States Department of Agriculture were in attendance and after introductions, President Bill Cantrell turned the floor over to APHIS Deputy Administrator Bernadette Juarez. Read More
  • Judges prepare and take tests at SHOW Clinic!

    Judges’ Committee Chairman Jennifer Bingham welcomed the SHOW HIO judges who attended the judges’ clinic held at the Franklin Marriott Conference Center. Bingham said, “We hope this will be an annual clinic to be held in conjunction with the Trainers’ Banquet.”  Read More
  • Walking Horse Trainers’ Auxiliary plans for 2019

    The Walking Horse Trainers’ Auxiliary met on Friday, December 14, 2018 at the Cool Springs Marriott in conjunction with the Walking Horse Trainers’ Association Convention... Read More
  • Riders' Cup showcased on Friday evening

    Since it’s inception in 2005, the Riders’ Cup program has grown to be a highly competitive and respected program. To date, over $900,000 has been paid out to dedicated trainers who continue to bring top horses to shows all across the country Read More
  • Celebration to require lease at time of entry

    The Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration will continue its tradition of requiring ownership to show in amateur classes during the world championship horse show. In recent years, leases have become more popular and The Celebration would like to clarify its policy on temporary ownership. Read More
  • Farm Bill passes

    The Farm Bill appeared in the headlines throughout 2018, including within the walking horse industry as an attempt was made earlier this year to include language in the bill that would have affected the walking horse industry... Read More