What: All Issues : Environment : H.R. 2744. Appropriations/Agriculture/Vote on Amendment to Prohibit the Expenditure of Funds to Pay Government Inspectors Who Examine Horses to Be Slaughtered for Human Consumption. (2005 house Roll Call 233)
 Who: All Members : New York, District 2 : King, Pete
[POW!]
 
H.R. 2744. Appropriations/Agriculture/Vote on Amendment to Prohibit the Expenditure of Funds to Pay Government Inspectors Who Examine Horses to Be Slaughtered for Human Consumption.
house Roll Call 233     Jun 08, 2005
Member's Vote
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or not)
Progressive Position
Progressive Result
(win or loss)

In this vote, the House passed an amendment to H.R. 2744 offered by John Sweeney (R-NY) to prohibit the use of funds to pay government inspectors who examine horses to be slaughtered for human consumption. H.R. 2744 was a bill to make appropriations (fund) for the Agriculture Department and the Food and Drug Administration for fiscal year 2006 (FY06). Taking the Progressive position, Sweeney described his amendment as a supplement to one passed by the House a few weeks earlier. That amendment banned the slaughter of wild horses (which is done for human consumption in foreign markets). He stated that this amendment to the FY06 agriculture appropriations bill would "would end the use of taxpayer dollars to enable and subsidize foreign enterprises, largely operating in opposition to the vast opinion and support of United States citizens[.]" Sweeney described horse-slaughter as inhumane. He further argued that "Americans do not profit from slaughtering horses. Horses are not bred in the United States for that purpose. This is an export-driven market. Foreigners eat our horses and foreign companies make money off the sale of the meat. This amendment simply says that the use of American taxpayer dollars to pay for the salaries and the work of USDA inspectors ought to stop, and those resources ought to be committed to making sure the food supply and the food chain here in this country are fully protected." Republicans who opposed the amendment countered that "[t]his amendment will shut down an industry without having a hearing, or any due process. The amendment creates a crisis for animal health issues. It prohibits USDA from inspecting horses that may have West Nile virus, or vesicular stomatitis, both of which can affect other animals and humans if those horses are destined for slaughter." (Henry Bonilla (R-TX).) They also argued that though Sweeney's primary motivation was the inhumane nature of the slaughter, Sweeney's amendment would not do anything to address that concern. Finally, they noted that the wild horse population in the U.S. needed to be managed, and that the moral distinction between horses and other animals slaughtered for food was not necessarily a clear one. Progressives won this vote when the House passed this amendment 269 to 158, with 104 Republicans crossing party lines to vote "yes" with Progressives and 33 Democrats crossing party lines to vote "no." Thus, language prohibiting the use of funds to pay government inspectors who examine horses to be slaughtered for human consumption was added to the agriculture appropriations bill.

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Key: Y=Yea, N=Nay, W=Win, L=Loss